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December 15, 2017 - 11:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Richmond Memorial Library, theater, arts, entertaiment, batavia, news.

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Mike Randall, WKBW's chief meteorologist and an actor, performed a reading of "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens last night at the Richmond Memorial Library. In Randall's live solo performance he takes on the role of 25 characters from the story.

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December 15, 2017 - 11:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in downtown, Downtown Revitalization Initiative, batavia, news.

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Local community members met in City Council Chambers last night to discuss and map out their ideas on how to improve Downtown Batavia.

The public meeting is part of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, the $10 million state prize won by Batavia, to help make improvements to downtown.

Community members discussed options to help establish priorities for how the $10 million might be spent.

This was the first of three public meetings. The public will also be invited to offer their opinions through online surveys.

The meeting was facilitated by Edward Flynn, planning division director for Labella Associations in Rochester.

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December 14, 2017 - 11:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, muckdogs, baseball, news, notify.

Press release:

It is with a powerful sense of sadness and loss, tempered by pride in our past and the hope of a faithful and resilient people for the future, that the Genesee County Baseball Club (GCBC), the nonprofit that has owned the Batavia Muckdogs of the Class A New York-Pennsylvania Professional Baseball League, announces that control of the franchise has been transferred to the New York-Penn League.

The transfer was officially approved by the GCBC's 23-person all-volunteer board.

The league is seeking a buyer for the franchise. Under terms of the transfer, the Rochester Red Wings, who have managed day-to-day operations of the club since 2008, will receive 50 percent of any sale price, and the GCBC will receive the other 50 percent, minus legal fees and the 10 percent share of sale proceeds that will be kept by the league. The name “Muckdogs” will remain property of the GCBC.

Batavia is the last of the original cities of the New York-Penn League, which was founded at a meeting in the Hotel Richmond in Batavia and began play in 1939 as the PONY (Pennsylvania-Ontario-New York) League.

The ongoing geographic expansion of the league, which now stretches from Aberdeen, Md., to Burlington, Vt., and from Staten Island to Morgantown, W.Va., has made it tremendously difficult for the smaller Upstate New York cities that once formed the heart of the league to survive. Lodging and travel costs have become prohibitive for small-market teams in the western part of New York State.

The sole remaining longtime Upstate New York franchise is in Auburn, which entered the league in 1958.

Brian Paris, president of the Genesee County Baseball Club, thanked the Rochester Red Wings:

“We are deeply grateful to the Red Wings for their absolutely pivotal role in preserving NYP League baseball in Batavia for these last 10 years — which included the franchise’s fourth league championship in 2008. Naomi Silver, Gary Larder, and the rest of the Red Wings organization are great people and have been a pleasure to work with.”

Paris also praised the Batavia fans, noting that for years, the team had annually ranked in the top half of the league in per-capita attendance.

“Batavia has a great core of fans,” he said. “Dwyer Stadium is the friendliest ballpark in America.”

He saluted the hundreds of local businesses that have supported the team over the years, noting that “in best grassroots fashion, small businesses have been the advertising backbone of this team.”

It is not yet clear where the franchise will play ball in the summer of 2018. That decision is up to the league. But Paris expressed the hope that when June 2018 rolls around, a team called the Batavia Muckdogs—whether as a member of the NYP League or perhaps a summer league for top college players--will take the field at Dwyer Stadium.

December 14, 2017 - 11:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, pembroke, thruway.

An ambulance has been dispatched to the toll booths on the New York State Thruway in Pembroke for an employee who has reportedly suffered an electrical shock.

No word on the extent of injuries, if any.

Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments also responding.

UPDATE 3:11 p.m.: The patient suffered minor burns on her fingers and was transported to ECMC. She was plugging something in to an electric outlet when she was shocked. 

December 14, 2017 - 10:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, news, accident.

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A semi-truck driver lost control of his rig on Ellicott Street Road in Bethany at about 9 o'clock this morning and slid off the roadway.

No injuries were reported.

The accident was in the area of 5902 Ellicott Street Road.

Bethany fire responded.

Photos by Glenn Adams.

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December 14, 2017 - 10:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Austin L. Wester, 23, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with four counts of forgery, 3rd, one count of petit larceny, and possession of a hypodermic instrument.  Wester was arrested on a warrant for allegedly taking another person's checks and cashing those checks by forging that person's signature. At the time of his arrest, Wester was allegedly found a needle in his pocket. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Davon S. St. John, 19, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. St. John allegedly stole property from T.F. Brown's. 

Tucker J. Bezon, 18, of Ridge Road, Elba, and Jayme K. Foster, age and address not released, were charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Bezon and Foster were charged following a traffic stop by Christopher Lindsay at 8:32 p.m. Dec. 8 on Liberty Street, Batavia.

Shawn M. Twardowski, 35, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal contempt, 2nd. While Twardowski was an inmate at the Genesee County Jail on Nov. 18, and again on March 26, he allegedly sent letters via postal mail to a person he was barred from contacting in any manner.

December 13, 2017 - 1:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
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     Corey Armstrong

Corey O. Armstrong, 46, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Armstrong was stopped by Batavia PD while driving in the city on Tuesday. Armstrong was wanted on a warrant stemming from a sealed Grand Jury indictment. 

During the traffic stop, Armstrong was also allegedly found in possession of marijuana. 

Armstrong was arrested as the result of a Local Drug Task Force investigation into the possession, transportation and sale of crack cocaine in and around the City of Batavia.

Following arraignment in County Court on the indictment, he was jailed without bail.

December 13, 2017 - 12:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nicholas Stankevich, NY-27, batavia, news.

Press release:

As the volunteer lists keep growing, Progressive Democratic Congressional candidate Nicholas Stankevich has opened his first district office. The work space is located at 56 Harvester Ave. in Batavia, Genesee County. Renovated from a former industrial work space, the Stankevich campaign has scheduled an Open House and the official opening to be Thursday, Dec. 21st, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

“Our intention is to provide a great place for our volunteers to work on our campaign as we begin the important process of taking back the 27th Congressional District,” Stankevich said. “We will win this election only with the hard work of our volunteers and pressing the important issues that greatly influence the families of this district.”

The office is housed in the old Massey-Harris plant. Designed as a workspace for volunteers, the office will be used on a continual basis to house volunteer activities for the Stankevich campaign.

“This office is really what this campaign is all about,” Stankevich said. “Our district used to be full of manufacturing jobs like those that were housed in this facility. Today, we have to develop 21st century jobs, educate our young people, train them in new technologies and opportunities that provide a strong livable wage. That is how we will bring back our communities in Western New York.”

Office Hours are daily, but dependent on the volunteer schedule. The Open House is a great way to grab a cup of coffee with the candidate to discuss the issues of the 27th Congressional District.

December 13, 2017 - 9:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Andrew Young Jr., alexander, news, notify.

Andrew Young Jr., the 14-year-old Alexander High School student who saw a commercial for an invention contest while watching the Ellen Show and decided to enter his idea for the "Toaster Shooter," has won a nationwide contest sponsored by Frito-Lay.

The grand prize is $250,000.

"We are blown away," said Andrew's father, Andrew Young Sr. "I don’t know that’s kind of hit us yet. We thought we did a good job and we though we might have won but we didn’t allow ourselves to think we had won so we’re still waiting for it to sink in, including Andrew."

Andrew is in school this morning and not available for comment.

Speaking of school, that's the plan for the $250,000 prize.

"He's not going to be able to buy the Lamborghini like he thought he would," said his father, laughing. "It's a college fund. It's 100 percent a college fund. He wants to go to M.I.T. so we're going to need every penny of it."

Andrew was among five finalists selected to compete in a voting contest. For more than a month votes were collected on the MyDreamVention.com website with multiple votes per person, per device allowed.

The Youngs worked hard to promote the contest locally and in Rochester and Buffalo to help drive votes.

December 12, 2017 - 7:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, news, arts, photography.

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Press release:

Following on the heels of a successful art show at GO ART! last month, a few employees/moms at Batavia High School (who will be remaining anonymous) decided that they wanted to make sure that the rest of Eian Windham's artwork sold out.  

Eian has had a challenging couple of years and these moms felt that this show/sale, located in the BHS library, would bring exposure to his outstanding photography and would give him the happiness that he deserves.  

These BHS employees who refer to themselves as  Moms4Good only needed to ask the BHS administration once and they were supportive and completely on board!

The public is invited to stop into BHS  anytime during the next two weeks to purchase some really spectacular photography. All of it is mounted and some are framed but all is reasonably priced and would be a perfect holiday gift!  

This Thursday, Dec. 14th, the public is also invited to a double treat. The BHS Winter concert, starting at 7 p.m. will be followed by a reception and art sale.

"Most of the prints are under $20 and they are really gorgeous," says one of the organizers. 

The event will be held in the library all day on the 14th, but the reception will be after the concert at 8:30 p.m..  The concert begins at 7 p.m., but arrive early for the best parking and seating.

Tom Redband, an entrepreneurship teacher at the high school, has opened this opportunity up to his students and they have agreed to offer their services to set up, collect money and even order prints after they are sold out. 

"What a great way to start off this magical holiday season with some beautiful music and artwork to benefit a great young man," says an organizer.

December 12, 2017 - 3:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stafford, fire, news.

A tractor fire, near the maintenance building, is reported at the Stafford Country Club.

Stafford fire responding.

December 12, 2017 - 3:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Basom, news, notify, batavia.

A 17-year-old Basom resident admitted in County Court today to threatening to shoot troopers and deputies during an incident on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation on Sept. 30, and of trying to seriously hurt or kill a person with a motor vehicle in the City of Batavia on Aug. 28.

Isaac Abrams entered guilty pleas to making a terrorist threat, a Class D felony, and reckless endangerment in the first degree, also a Class D felony.

There is no sentencing cap on his possible prison term, which is a maximum of seven years, but the sentences on both charges would run concurrently, according to the plea agreement.

Abrams was being held in Genesee County Jail on $25,000 bail, but after listening to both attorneys on his bail status, County Court Judge Charles Zambito agreed to release Abrams under the supervision of Genesee Justice with a curfew of 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. He must continue to reside at his mother's residence on Skye Road during the term of his release or get permission from the court to move.

First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini argued that Abrams has demonstrated a poor record of obeying the lawful commands of police officers, first in the Aug. 28 incident in the city and then during his confrontation with troopers and deputies Sept. 30.

His attorney, Vanessa Guite, said that Abrams has been successfully participating in Alcoholics Anonymous, completed his high school education while confined, and she added that that her client's second arrest was a real wake-up call for him.

"You can see from his demeanor in court that he is taking this deadly serious," Guite said.

In October, Abrams became a father. He has yet to see his baby, Guite said.

While out of jail, Guite said, "He will be fully engaged in taking care of his baby."

Details of the incident that led to Abrams' arrest in the City of Batavia on Aug. 28 are not available. There was no press release at the time of his arrest and today the Batavia PD computer system is down so the information isn't available. (Correction: There was a press release, but Abrams' name was redacted from the initial release by Batavia PD, so we couldn't find the prior publication.)

Abrams was originally charged with three counts of attempted assault in the first degree, along with the reckless endangerment charge, obstructing governmental administration, 2nd, and harassment, 2nd.

UPDATE: At 5:46 p.m., Aug. 29, Batavia PD responded to a disturbance at Burger King at 230 West Main St., Batavia, where a person was reportedly struck by a vehicle. Abrams reportedly fled the scene and was apprehended on West Main Street.

His plea satisfies all six charges along with any pending traffic tickets.

As for the Oct. 30 incident, Deputy Andrew Hale handled the case and Hale said today that the arrest was the culmination of about a week of deputies dealing with Abrams.

He said there was an incident at a gas station on the reservation where Abrams allegedly got into a fight with a patron and the owner of the gas station asked Hale to arrest Abrams, whom he said was previously barred from the property, for trespass.

There was another incident, Hale said, where Abrams allegedly hit an employee at a smoke shop. The State Police handled that incident.

Hale sought an arrest warrant for Abrams and received it Oct. 30.

That day, there was a traffic accident on Route 77 and traffic was redirected down Meadville Road. According to Hale, Abrams and his friends, whom Hale said had all been drinking, decided to set up a roadblock and charge a toll for motorists coming onto the reservation. 

Troopers responded and Abrams and his friends challenged the troopers to a fight. Hale was notified and he responded because he had the warrant for Abrams.

Upon his arrival, Abrams was positioned behind cars, near a house and a tree line.

According to Hale, Abrams yelled, "You want to play with guns. I'll play with guns."

He also threatened to shoot Hale and Deputy Lonnie Nati.

He then started to reach into a vehicle and Hale said he warned Abrams not to reach for a gun. At that point, Abrams went into the residence and Hale and Nati circled around to the back of the house. When Abrams came out, there was a brief confrontation and then Hale and Nati managed to take Abrams into custody.

No weapons were recovered at the scene, but the house was not searched because the deputies did not have a search warrant for the residence.

December 11, 2017 - 11:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, batavia, news.

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Batavia got its first real snow accumulation of the season yesterday and last night but the birds still showed up this morning in our backyard feeders for their morning meal.

There's more snow on the way. A winter storm watch is in effect for tonight starting at 7 p.m. and lasting until Wednesday afternoon. Heavy, blowing snow is possible. The National Weather Service warns that travel may be difficult with more than 10 inches of snowfall possible.

Winds could gust up to 45 mph.

The forecast is for little precipitation today but a low-pressure system crosses the region bringing periods of widespread accumulation. Several weak systems cross the area in the following days with an additional chance of snow.

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December 11, 2017 - 10:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

The Batavian is available in a fast, easy-to-use app for iOS and Android devices.  Download it today.

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December 11, 2017 - 10:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify, byron, pembroke, Bethany, Alabama.

James J. Spivey, 19, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with robbery, 2nd. Spivey is accused of forcefully taking property from another person at 2:25 p.m., Oct. 25, while on Park Avenue, Batavia. He was jailed without bail.

William G. Schultz, 43, of Evans Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 5th. Schultz was allegedly found in possession of stolen property -- the property is not specified -- while at 1 W. Main St., Batavia. The original incident was reported at 11:46 p.m. Oct. 6 at a residence on Union Street, Batavia. Schultz was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Cameron Robert Lochren, 23, of Broadway Road, Darien, is charged while driving while ability impaired by drugs, driving without headlines, and driver's view obstructed. Lochren was stopped at 12:58 a.m. Friday on Railroad Street, Alexander, by Deputy Patrick Reeves. Lochren was jailed on $1,250 bail or $2,500 bond.

Robert David Cummings III, 31, of Akron Road, Pembroke, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Cummings is accused of damaging the property of another person at 3 p.m. Friday at a location on Phelps Road, Pembroke. 

Amie Lin Santiago, 31, of Hindsburg Road, Albion, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Santiago was stopped for an alleged traffic violation at 1:47 a.m. Saturday on Roberts Road, Alabama, by Deputy Jeremy McClellan.

Alex A. Applegate, 21, of Upper Holley Road, Holley, is charged with DWI and moving from lane unsafely. Applegate was charged following an investigation into a motor-vehicle accident Saturday on Route 237 in Byron. The accident was investigated by Deputy Travis DeMuth.

Gerald Jacob Farrell, 24, of Nunda-Byersville Road, Nunda, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or more, and failure to keep right. Farrell was stopped at 12:28 a.m. Sunday on Ellicott Street Road, Bethany, by Deputy Jeremy McClellan. 

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

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