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October 23, 2016 - 5:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba, news.

A car in the area of 5117 N. Byron Road, Elba, has rolled over after reportedly striking a deer, but the caller reports no injuries.

Elba fire dispatched, and as a precaution, Mercy EMS dispatched.

October 23, 2016 - 1:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.


Several years ago, dispatcher James Tripp and then Batavia PD Lt. Jim Henning got to talking one day about how cool it would be to have replicas of Batavia patrol vehicles made, and Tripp, being a bit of a collector of fire and police memorabilia, he started researching how to get it done.

Employed by both the Sheriff's Office and Batavia PD, Tripp began with the idea of getting replica patrol vehicles for both agencies. 

For that batch, he found a company in California that could make them.

About five years later, both agencies had replaced most of their old vehicles and members of both agencies were interested in updated models. He and Henning discussed the options and Henning suggested VSP graphics in Buffalo; the company, at the time, did the decals for Batavia's patrol vehicles. 

That set of vehicles was created in 2010. 

VSP was unable to handle the workload this year, so Tripp turned to Vinyl Sticks, with an office in Batavia, and Vinyl Sticks was willing to take on the job in between their larger jobs. 

Trip ordered the blank 1/24 scale of the SUV used by both departments and the first batch was recently completed.

"These replicas as I indicated are not mass produced and each car's decals are manually applied, which can be a time-consuming task," Tripp said.  

The cars are sold to members of both agencies looking for a keepsake and conversation piece. They can be customized with the officer's badge number on the top of the roof and license plate number. 

Tripp said these cars are not sold at a profit. 

"One other footnote is the City of Batavia replicas (and most common folk would not even notice) have the City of Batavia Police Department special 100-year century of service sticker on the back door of the model, just like the real patrol vehicles, which makes them even more unique," Tripp said.

"I would just add it is one of those things likes arts and crafts I guess that you're either into it or not," Tripp said. "My feelings are, for me anyway, it is a sense of pride for me to display and be proud of what I have done and who I have worked for most of my adult life. Serving and working with emergency services to me has been a blessing for me and I am honored that I have had that opportuinty to do just that in this community. While I am semi-retired, I still enjoy walking in the door of both agencies to represent both agencies to the best of my ability. This project for me is part of that pride."


October 23, 2016 - 1:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen, news.

A 61-year-old man was injured this morning while shooting a shotgun on Buffalo Road in the Town of Bergen.

The man's finger was reportedly injured by the shot.

Emergency dispatchers received a call about the incident at 9:17 a.m.

The man, whose name was not released, was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Bergen fire and ambulance responded.

The Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident.

October 23, 2016 - 1:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Stafford, Le Roy, news.

mug-jefftorrey2016.jpgAs the result of an investigation and execution of a search a warrant, Jeffery D. Torrey Sr., 44, of Roanoke Road, Stafford has been  charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, and unlicensed growing of cannabis, among other related charges.

The Local Drug Task Force executed the warrant on Torrey's home and on Torrey himself and his vehicle in the Town of Le Roy. 

Agents allegedly found a grow operation inside his residence, a quantity of marijuana and cocaine, a set of metal knuckles, a gravity knife and U.S. currency.

Other charges include criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, criminal possession of marijuana, 4th, criminal possession of a weapon, 4th, and unlawful possession of marijuana.

He was jailed on $5,000 bail or $10,000 bond. 

October 23, 2016 - 12:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in John Gardner, batavia, news, Pok-A-Dot.


The John Gardner Society gathered for the 20th time last night for its annual reading of works by and about John Gardner, the acclaimed novelist originally from Batavia.

This year, Bill Gardner, John's cousin, attended and spoke at the end about a phone call he received from John near the end of his life. He said John was morose and despondent over the state of his writing.

“I want to come back to Genesee County," John told Bill. "I lost my roots."

He wanted Bill to find him a place to live, ideally a Greek revival home. Bill said he there wasn't much around, but he had seen a place in East Bethany, so he went took at it, but found it had been turned into apartments.

John died in a motorcycle accident in Pennsylvania (where he lived) not long after that, but Bill said he was always struck by the fact that John felt he couldn't write because he had strayed too far from home.

"He had lost his touch," Bill said. "He had lost his ability to write and the problem, as he saw it, was that he lost his touch with the land where he grew up and he wanted to come back."

Top photo: Maureen Maas-Feary.


Gretel Kauffman


Byron Hoot, who travels from Pittsburgh each year for the reading.




Helen Maier



Bill Gardner

October 23, 2016 - 11:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia cemetery association, Batavia Cemetery, batavia, news.


Timothy Bucknam stands in for Philemon Tracy, the only Confederate officer lain to rest north of the Mason-Dixon line, who is buried in the Batavia Cemetery.

Bucknam provided visitors to the cemetery last night with information on Tracy's life during the Batavia Cemetery Association's annual ghost walk.

Also pictured below are Tracy Ford as poet Rev. John Henry Yates and Patrick Weissend as Joseph Ellicott.




October 23, 2016 - 11:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Cemetery, batavia, news.


A pair of large obelisks at grave sites in the Batavia Cemetery, which were knocked by falling tree branches in recent years, were placed and positioned on their stands earlier this week by Craig Wolcott and his crew from Wolcott Lawn and Cemetery Maintenance.

The project was funded through a grant from the Rochester Area Community Foundation and a donation by the Landmark Society of Genesee County.

Photos and information from Sharon Burkel.





October 23, 2016 - 10:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Harvester Center, Harvester Makerspace, batavia, business.


James Dillon explained to more than a dozen people who attended the open house Saturday night at the new Harvester Makerspace what a makerspace is all about and what they can do there.

Members will have access to a variety of tools to help them turn their ideas into useful items, art or new products to try and bring to market.

The space provides 3D printing, CNC milling, laser cutting and vacuum forming.


October 23, 2016 - 10:23am
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.
October 22, 2016 - 10:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, batavia, Batavia HS, news.


Wet and cold and a slippery pigskin defined much of Batavia's opening round game against University Prep at Van Detta Stadium on Friday night.

Batavia pulled out a win, 24-12, after falling behind in a first half 12-8 marked by four fumbles.

In all, both teams would combine for more than 10 turnovers on the rain-soaked night.

U-Prep held Batavia's season-leading rusher, Ray Leach, to less than 40 yards on the ground. He did score the opening touchdown.

It was a tough night for passing, and with Leach pretty well bottled up by U-Prep's defense, Batavia turned to QB Jerry Reinhart to run the ball. He rushed for 66 yards and two touchdowns.

The star of the night was likely Anthony Ray, who had 10 tackles and two sacks, including one for a safety.









To purchase prints, click here.

October 22, 2016 - 9:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, alexander.

Alexander roared out of the playoff gate with an impressive 53-0 win over Lyons in the first round of the Section V Class D tournament.

Dane Heberlein led the way for Alexander with 22 carries for 222 yards and four touchdowns. Chris McClinic added 109 yards and a TD on seven carries.

Senior QB P.J. Brennan scored a touchdown on the ground and was six for 12 passing for 109 yards and a two TDs. Brennan has tossed 18 touchdown passes on the year against only two interceptions.

Hauling Brennan's tosses for TDs were Dustin Schmeider and Job Smith.

Hannah Paolucci notched five extra points.

The Trojan defense recovered three fumbles on the night. Erik Scharlau blocked a punt and had five tackles. Schmeider had a sack and five tackles. Zack Jasen had six tackles.

The news wasn't as good out of East Rochester, where Le Roy fell 70-0 in its sectional playoff game. East Rochester's Cameron Cleveland rushed for 249 yards and six TDs on 13 carries. 

Game photos by Rick D. Franclemont.

October 22, 2016 - 8:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Oakfield, news.

A caller reports a vehicle on its roof in the area of 6042 Fisher Road, Oakfield.

Unknown if any injuries.

Oakfield fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 8:58 a.m.: Mercy Flight #7 is on a ground standby.

UPDATE 9:01 a.m.: Patient out of the vehicle.

UPDATE 9:05 a.m.: Cancel Mercy Flight.

UPDATE 9:21 a.m.: The road can reopen.

October 22, 2016 - 8:18am
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.
October 21, 2016 - 12:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, schools, education, batavia, news.


Turning math into playtime was the theme of Family Fun Night at Jackson School last night. 

The elementary schoolchildren and their parents were given a booklet with math problems to solve, and then they went through various game boards to help them solve those problems.

Prizes were award to students who successfully filled in their booklet with the correct answers.






October 21, 2016 - 9:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, pembroke, Notre Dame, news.

In Connors and Ferris Bowl play on Thursday, Pembroke notched one more victory for 2016, making it a total of four against four losses, by beating Notre Dame, 20-0.

In a rain-soaked game, there were only six pass attempts between the two teams, so the ground game dominated, and Pembroke dominated on the ground, with Zachary von Kramer rushing for 188 yards on 33 attempts and two TDs for the Dragons. Nick Clark added another 44 yards on a single run that went for a score. 

Jordon Weatherwax gained 51 yards on 16 carries for Notre Dame. 

Notre Dame's Caleb Wolcott led all defensive players with 12 tackles. Jim Zickl added seven tackles for the Irish.

For Pembroke, Von Kramer had eight tackles and Brian Seweryniak added seven and a sack. Jarrod Carrow had an interception.

In the area's other Connors and Ferris Bowl game, Perry/Mt. Morris beat Oakfield-Alabama/Elba, 27-0.

Section V playoffs begin tonight. The #1 seed in Class B, Batavia, hosts University Prep, coming in at #8, at Van Detta Stadium tonight. Game time is 7 p.m. Alexander, the #1 seed in Class D, also has a 7 p.m. home game against Lyons. 

Pembroke/Notre Dame game photos by Rick D. Franclemont. 

October 21, 2016 - 8:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news.

A storm passing through Western New York today could bring as much as two inches of rain to Genesee County, according to the National Weather Service.

A flash flood watch has been issued locally because of the potential for rapidly rising water in populated areas, especially along feeder streams.

The watch is in effect until 4 p.m.

The NWS reports that an elongated low-pressure zone over West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania is directing widespread soaking rain to zones north from the Southern Tier across the Genesee River Valley and Finger Lakes to the Eastern Lake Ontario region.

October 21, 2016 - 8:20am
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.
October 20, 2016 - 4:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Diana Kastenbaum, chris collins, NY-27, politics, news.

Press release:

Diana Kastenbaum, the Democratic Congressional Candidate for NY-27, has called upon Rep. Chris Collins to step forward and declaratively disavow Trump’s recent statements that the election is rigged. As a an elected official himself, Mr. Collins should persuade Mr. Trump that he should accept the outcome of the election if Secretary Clinton wins. That is what we know in this country as a peaceful transfer of power. That “peaceful” transfer of power is the very essence of what a democracy is all about.

“There used to be civility amongst opponents running for public office. However, the tone the Trump campaign and all of its surrogates have set forth, including Mr. Collins, is anything but civil. The time has come for all patriotic Republicans to speak out against this unprecedented attack on our core beliefs and our fair election process.”

October 20, 2016 - 2:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in budget, genesee county, news.


Legislators are faced with a number of hard choices as the county's 2017 budget comes together.

Increases in mandated spending, increases in personnel expenses, flat sales tax revenue and unsettled questions about expenses related to the soon-to-be-former Genesee County Nursing Home means the county needs to raise more money than allowed by the tax levy cap.

County Jay Gsell laid out several options for the legislators, except one, but Chairman Ray Cinifrinit put it on the table: Voting to override the tax cap limit.

To override, the Legislators would have to hold a public hearing and then vote on a resolution. That would have to be done before completion of the budget process, so approving the resolution wouldn't necessarily mean there would be a tax increase above the cap amount.

"I'm suggesting that we at least pass the resolution," Cianfrini said. "That's just good planning."

Gsell said he won't submit a budget proposal, which is due within 48 hours, that includes a tax increase above the cap amount.

The formula for figuring the cap takes into account the $14 million in increased assessed value for real property in the county, but the county can only use a portion of that increase for any pre-cap increase in the levy.

If the county were to raise no more money from the levy than in 2016, it would put the tax rate for the county at $9.69 per thousand of assessed value.

The rate can't go past $9.86 to stay under the levy cap. 

If Gsell accepted all of the funding requests by various county departments, which by direction were already frugal requests, the tax rate would be $10.27.

To get the rate down to at least $9.86, Gsell said there will be no new hires for county staff, except two new corrections officers, and he's looking at using $1 million from the county's reserves, as well as diverting 1 percent of the sales tax that would normally go to next year's capital projects (think roads and bridges), for another $800,000 in savings. He's also cutting 10 percent from all non-mandated services, except for mental health related services, Genesee Community College and the Chamber of Commerce (the tourism office helps generate revenue for the county and gets funding from the hotel bed tax).

Here's the list of programs and agencies slated for a 10 percent cut from their funding requests:

  • GO-ART!
  • Business Education Alliance
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Holland Land Office Museum
  • Housing Initiative Committee
  • Genesee County Economic Development Center
  • Libraries
  • Mercy Flight
  • Soil & Water Conservation District

Legislator Andrew Young expressed concern about the county once again dipping into reserve funds to balance a budget. He noted that practice can't last forever. He is also concerned about diverting funds from capital projects when the county is looking at a $15 million bill for road and bridge repairs over the next five years.

So take those two revenue diversions off the table, that leaves Legislators with two big options -- raise taxes above the levy cap, or go to what Gsell called "the nuclear option," the "scorched earth policy."

That option is completely eliminating a service the county currently provides but isn't mandated by state law. Those options include closing county parks and eliminating the road patrol deputies in the Sheriff's Office.

Such drastic cuts could also include elimination all funding for the nine programs and services listed above.

"If they (the legislators) don't like what I recommend in terms of how the revenues are put together," Gsell said after the meeting, "that's when I have to go back to the expense side of the equation and get rid of $1 million to $2 million worth of expenses."

But Gsell warned legislators that drastic cuts will certainly bring about intense pushback from the community.

"We tried that with Genesee Justice a few years ago and I believe there were 200-plus people at a public hearing over in the court facility," Gsell said. "Everybody and the kitchen sink came in and said that's the worse thing the county has ever thought of, let alone tried to do as far as county government goes. So that's just a caution."

The two-and-a-half hour meeting Wednesday also included a lengthy discussion about how to eliminate some of the overtime costs within the Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Gary Maha, Undersheriff William Sheron (top photo), Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble and Jail Superintendent William Zipfel participated in the conversation.

The two main areas of overtime expense are deputies in training with their four-hour daily commute to and from basic training in either Niagara Falls or Monroe County and prisoner transport of female inmates between Genesee County, which doesn't have a jail that can house female inmates, and the jails in the area that can accept female prisoners.

Currently, deputies are taken off of road patrol for transports.

The Sheriff's Office budget requested three new corrections officers to handle the transports, but the discussion headed toward a proposal to hire two new corrections officers and find retired law enforcement officers to work part-time help with transports.

County Attorney Charles Zambito, soon-to-be County Judge Zambito, said once he's judge he can probably make sure the calendar is adjusted to ensure prisoners to be transported are scheduled for appearances in batches, reducing the number of transport trips. 

Jail expense is also going up, Zipfel said, because of the changing demographics of the jail population. There is more time and expense with medical transportation and dealing with mental health issues, including more one-on-one watches for inmates who may be suicidal.

"The jail population is aging and getting sicker with every month that goes by," Zipfel said. "We're encountering more people who have drug and alcohol addictions, more people who are older. We've had several people recently in their 70s and 80s who are getting sentenced because of drug and alcohol addictions."

The legislature will meet again on the budget next Wednesday.

October 19, 2016 - 8:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, Emergency Dispatch, batavia, news.


Once a year, the Sheriff's Office is required to test its backup emergency dispatch center and tonight's the night for dispatchers to work out of the location at 14 W. Main St., instead of their normal home on Park Road.

The facility is configured exactly like Park Road for an easy transition from one location to the other.

The backup facility would be used if Park Road couldn't be used for some reason.

The room in the old Sheriff's Office on West Main was the dispatch center for the Sheriff's Office for decades before the Park Road office was built.

These days, emergency dispatchers handle all traffic in the county for the Sheriff's road patrols, Batavia PD, Le Roy PD, State Police and the fire departments.

Dispatchers handle somewhere in the neighborhood of 30,000 calls for service annually.




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

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