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October 19, 2016 - 4:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, elba, news.


Investigators have spent the day trying to track down new leads that might help them discover who was involved in yesterday's robbery of the M&T Bank branch in Elba.

The robbery was reported at 2:35 p.m. yesterday and seems to have involved two men dressed in masks, gloves and hoodies who fled in a stolen car before switching cars about a block away from the bank.

Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster said a team of investigators spent the day canvassing the area looking for witnesses or images from surveillance cameras that might assist in developing leads.

Investigator Joseph Graff told our news partner 13WHAM that investigators are also checking with costume shops to see if any connection can be made between the masks and gloves the suspects were wearing and a recent purchase.

Brewster said the Sheriff's Office is conferring with the FBI and law enforcement in Monroe County.

The initial getaway car was stolen from a car dealership in Rochester and had a stolen plate on the rear of the car.

Anybody who might have information that can assist in the investigation can call the Sheriff's Office at (585) 343-5000.

Photo released this afternoon of the second suspect.

October 19, 2016 - 4:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion, fire, news.

There is a report of a combine on fire in Pavilion, across from the high school, at 7014 Big Tree Road.

Pavilion fire dispatched.

October 19, 2016 - 12:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, schools, education, news.

A consolidation plan enacted by Batavia City Schools four years ago has led to cost savings in some key areas, Sandra Griffin, now a retired principal from Batavia Middle School, told the school board at Tuesday's meeting.

Overall, personnel costs have decreased by $31,000.  

The first year of consolidation, in 2012-13, there was a $1.2 million cost savings, but since then the district has added new staff or AIS support and personnel for arts and music. Even so, there has been a payroll savings each year since consolidation.

When consolidation was implemented, district administration moved from its offices on Washington Avenue to offices at Batavia High School, closed Robert Morris School and shuffled grade levels between Jackson, John Kennedy, and Batavia Middle School.

One of the biggest areas of cost savings was in operations and maintenance, which is down $414,000.

Unemployment costs are down $103,000.

Utility expenses are down $292,700.

The one area of increase is bussing, which has jumped $484,000, the result of a more open bussing policy which has mean 305 more students are able to take a bus to and from school.

October 19, 2016 - 11:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, schools, education, news, batavia.

Academically, Batavia High School is in good shape, Principal Scott Wilson told school board members at Batavia City Schools regular meeting Tuesday night.

Last year, the high school hit a 95-percent graduation rate and Wilson is pleased with regularly hitting a 90-percent-plus rate, but repeating 95 percent will be a daunting challenge, he said.

In eight of the 10 regents exams, the school has improved its passing rate. He said there as been a steady growth in improved scores, especially in math, where staff has invested more time and resources.

"I'd like to see a higher passing rate, but a slow and steady climb is continuing to sharpen the saw," Wilson said.

He described the passing rate for students in advanced placement classes as "healthy."

Last year, 49 percent of students went on to a two-year college and 25 percent to a four-year college. Wilson would like to improve those numbers, but, "those are good numbers and very healthy for us."

About 19 percent of graduates leave school, after study at BOCES, with skills to enter the workforce in a trade.

The introduction of Chrombooks into the classrooms has gone over well with students and parents, Wilson said.

"All you have to do is walk the halls and see the progress in action," Wilson said.

October 19, 2016 - 11:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in district attorney, genesee county, news.

Moments after being told on Monday by County Manager Jay Gsell that a pay raise for the district attorney is being mandated by the state and the County Legislature really had no say in the matter, members of the Public Service Committee decided to say nothing at all.

No member of the committee spoke up to make a motion to approve the mandated pay raises, so there was no second to a motion, and without a motion or second, there could be no discussion.

Afterward, Chairman Ray Cinanfrini, who was in the room, but is not a member of the commitee, was totally surprised that the committee acted as it did.

He said there was no prior discussion that gave him a clue there would simply be no action on the matter.

Not that he was disappointed.

"I'm not in favor of the way it was handled by the governor's office," Cianfrini said. "This is no reflection whatsoever on our district attorney and the services provided by his office. They do a great job. It's just that we had no control over the  whole process."

A committee appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo recommended that salaries for district attorneys throughout the state be pegged to the salary structure of Supreme Court justices, which are pegged to the salary rates of federal judges.

Under the mandate, the district attorney pay would hit $193,000 annually in April 2018, or 95 percent of a Supreme Court justice's salary in that year.

Last year, Friedman, who hadn't received a pay raise in about eight years, was paid $152,500. The governor's plan would give Friedman an immediate boost to $183,350.

The lack of action by the Legislature really puts the ball in Friedman's court, Cianfrini said. 

"Certainly, as the law stands right now, our district attorney is entitled to the money," Cianfrini said. "The fact that we did not take action on it today, I think, puts a lot of pressure on us on how we can justify the decision of the Public Service Committee."

County Attorney Charles Zambito agreed that it is probably up to Friedman to decide how to proceed.  

Friedman declined to share specific thoughts on the pay issue.

"While I certainly have some very strong feelings about this issue, rather than making statements to the media at this time, I will begin by promptly addressing it with the County Legislature," Friedman said.

If push comes to shove, he and Gsell said, the Legislature could vote to make the district attorney's job part time. That would get the county out from under the state mandate.

Up until the early 1990s, the job, along with all the assistant jobs, were part-time. Just prior to Friedman's election to DA, the legislature voted to make the job full-time, so Friedman is the only full-time DA in the county's history.

October 18, 2016 - 12:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A caller reports being hit by a car on Swan Street, Batavia, with the vehicle fleeing the scene.

The caller says it was a red or maroon Jeep.

The caller went home to his residence on Jackson Street before calling dispatchers. He denied the need for EMS, but an ambulance is being sent to that address as a precaution to check on head, arm and knee injuries.

October 18, 2016 - 7:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Ellicott Station, Ellicott Street, news.

When it comes to redeveloping the Santy and Della Penna properties on Ellicott Street in Batavia, local officials are ready to go, but on the Empire State Development's map of projects, the project is somewhere five years down the road.

To help move things along, Julia Pacatte, economic coordinator for the Batavia Development Corp., is seeking support from the County Legislature and the City School District, both economic partners in the project, to pass resolutions asking ESD to speed up the process.

"This is an affirmation that the local community is ready to support the project and asking the state to move more quickly than in the next five years," Pacatte said. "We’re ready to go now."

Most of the money for the $17 million Ellicott Station Project is coming from private investment, with a portion of financial support coming from local tax abatements. But officials are also looking for ESD to follow through on its commitment of $2.4 million in grants to pay for environmental cleanup of the properties.

The property qualifies for assistance under state programs because: of the environmental remediation required; the adaptive reuse of property that was developed but fell into disuse; and the economic struggles of the census tract the property is in, with 30 percent of the residents at the poverty level or lower and an unemployment rate of 7 percent. 

The project is expected to produce 60 temporary jobs and 90 permanent jobs.

There are already tenants lined up for office space and the entertainment and restaurant space within the project, and ensuring those potential tenants stay on the hook is one reason for trying to get a faster response from ESD.

The county's Public Service Committee approved the resolution unanimously and the school board will be asked to act on it tonight.

October 18, 2016 - 6:33am
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 17, 2016 - 12:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, missing person, news.

UPDATE 12:25 p.m.: Law enforcement units are with a man in the woods near Francis Road. Unconfirmed at this moment that it's Mr. Aubrey. 

A 75-year-old vulnerable adult from Alexander is still missing this afternoon and a new coordinate search effort will open a command post in the Francis Road area at 1 p.m.

As many as six, possibly more, K-9s from various law enforcement and search and rescue teams will join the search, said Tim Yaeger, emergency management coordinator for Genesee County.

The property of Robert W. Aubrey, as well as adjacent properties will be searched thoroughly, Yaeger said. If he's not located, according to Yaeger, then at least those properties can be ruled out as a possible location for the missing man.

Yaeger said Aubrey is known to walk along roadways, not so much into the woods, so if he left his property, then there's a chance he is walking along a roadway somewhere or was given a ride to some unknown location.

He was spotted on Putnam Road on Saturday.

Yesterday, a pair of blue pants, like those Aubrey may be wearing, were found in Kiwanis Park, but it was determined the pants did not belong to Aubrey, Yaeger said.

DEC forest rangers will also join the search today.

If the cloud cover lifts this afternoon, State Police aviation will join the search.

Should you have information regarding this incident please contact the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office at 585-343-5000.

UPDATE 12:49 p.m.: The missing man has been found alive and is being transported to a hospital.

UPDATE 1:05 p.m.: According to Tim Yaeger, Genesee County Emergency Services coordinator, Robert W. Aubrey was found about 30 minutes ago by a family member who joined the search party. The missing man was about a quarter mile, south by southwest from his house. "He's in good condition, considering he spent two days in the woods," Yaeger said. Rescuers were preparing to deploy more canine units and air patrols when the dementia patient was found. His wife told responders she last saw him around 1 p.m. yesterday, when he went outside. He usually walks along roadways, and searchers, led by Bethany fire command, concentrated on roads after a few people reported sightings. But on Saturday he apparently went for a walk in the woods, or got turned around and ended up in there. Aubrey seems to be in good condition, was looking for water, and understood he was being taken by ambulance to UMMC for evaluation. The weather over the weekend was fairly warm and that was fortuitious. Yaeger said a tracking device would have helped locate Aubrey sooner.

October 17, 2016 - 11:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Le Roy, bergen, news.

A driver reportedly swerved and try and avoid a deer on the Thruway near mile marker 378, according to State Police, but struck the deer, causing the car carrying five people to careen across the media into the eastbound lane of traffic where it was struck by a tractor-trailer.

Three people were taken to Strong Memorial Hospital by Mercy Flight and two were transported by ground ambulance. 

"All of the injuries were non-life-threatening, as far as we know," said a spokesman for Troop T Zone 4. 

He said the names were not being released. He doesn't know if family notifications have taken place or where the victims lived.

Two of the victims were ejected from the vehicle. 

Responding to the scene were Le Roy Fire, Le Roy Ambulance, three Mercy EMS ambulances and three Mercy Flight helicopters.

Concurrent with the Thruway accident was one on the I-490 in Bergen. We've requested information on that accident from Troop E.

Bergen Fire and Churchville Fire responded to that accident. There was a reported vehicle fire. Bergen's ambulance and Byron's ambulance responded, as well, along with Chili's ambulance.

Photo: of Thruway accident, submitted by a reader.

October 17, 2016 - 7:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, Batavia HS, news, batavia.


The 15th Annual Batavia Blue Devil Athletic Hall of Fame dinner is Saturday at Terry Hills.

Social hour begins at 5 p.m., with dinner at 6 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person.

This year's inductees are: Karen Thomas Dupuis, 1982; David Dedman, 1989; Christopher Kane, 1986; Frank Pontillo, 1991; Susan Salvador Tresco, 1986; and John McGowan Jr., 1995.






October 17, 2016 - 7:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Landmark Society of Genesee County, news, preservation.


(Photo submitted by the Landmark Society of Genesee County.)

The Landmark Society of Genesee County presented its annual preservation awards Saturday during a dinner at the First Presbyterian Church of Le Roy.

Pictured are: Garth and Amy Swanson, David and Robyn Tufts, Peg Sanford with Gregg and Debbie McAllister, Beverly Bodeker, manager of the Indian Falls Log Cabin Restaurant, Michelle and Chris Krtanik, Pastor David Pepper and Ann Ver Hague.

For more information on the winners, click here.

October 17, 2016 - 6:47am
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 16, 2016 - 2:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in missing person, alexander, news.

Sheriff's patrols are looking for a missing person, possibly a vulnerable adult, in the area of Francis Road, Alexander.

Alexander Fire is requested to the scene for manpower.

No description has been provided.

A caller reports previously, last week, picking up a man walking alone on Creek Road and a deputy is advised to check that area.

UPDATE 2:56 p.m.: Pavilion and Darien requested crews standby in quarters.

UPDATE 3:05 p.m.: State Police also assisting in the search. The Sheriff's Office is working on obtaining and distributing a picture of the individual. It's unclear if the distribution is to include the media, or just law enforcement.

UPDATE 4:03 p.m.: The man is 75 years old and has been missing since 1 p.m. yesterday.

UPDATE 4:45 p.m. (press release): The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a missing vulnerable adult incident. At 12:12 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 16,  the Genesee County Emergency Dispatcher Center received a 9-1-1 call reporting a Robert W. Aubrey (75 years of age) had wandered off from 9490 Francis Road in the Town of Bethany on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016 at around 1 p.m. The subject is described as a white male, 5’6”, with gray hair. He was last seen wearing a long-sleeve blue T-shirt, blue pants and glasses. He suffers from severe dementia and also walks with a limp. A search of the immediate area is currently underway. The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office is being assisted by New York State Police, Genesee County Emergency Management Office, Bethany and Alexander fire departments. (Photos provided by GC Sheriff's Office.)

Should you have information regarding this incident please contact the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office at 585-343-5000.

UPDATE: 4:55 p.m.: A fire crew from Town of Batavia is asked to assemble and deploy to Bethany for this search. Also, a male caller to dispatch reported that he passed the missing subject yesterday twice on Putnam Road. The second time he passed him, the man was northbound, walking in a ditch, in the 9000 block.

UPDATE 10:27 p.m. The search was halted at nightfall. Mr. Aubrey has not been located at this time.

UPDATE 11:37 a.m., Oct. 17: The search resumed this morning and about a half hour ago, family members got the OK from the Sheriff's Office to fan out and look for their loved one in the woods,


October 16, 2016 - 10:33am
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 16, 2016 - 8:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Alabama, Basom.

A pickup truck has reportedly hit a bridge in the area of 650 Bloomingdale Road, Basom.

If there are injuries, they are apparently minor. The driver is out of the vehicle and walking around.

Alabama fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 8:12 a.m.: The vehicle is well off the road. It hit a guardrail.

UPDATE 8:15 a.m.: Ambulance can continue in, non-emergency.

UPDATE 8:27 a.m.: Two tow trucks will be needed to deal with the vehicle. A hook to pull it to the road, and a flatbed to haul it away. Bloomingdale will be shut down for a time during the operation.

October 15, 2016 - 11:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Le Roy, news.


There is reportedly a two-car accident in the area of mile marker 377.9 of the Thruway in Le Roy.

Injuries are reported and one person may have been ejected from a vehicle.

Mercy Flight is on ground standby. 

Le Roy fire and ambulance dispatched.

UPDATE 11:38 p.m.: Dispatchers received an update from a tollbooth indicating possibly four injuries, possibly two ejections.

UPDATE 11:40 p.m.: Mercy Flight #9 out of Buffalo dispatched, with a 22-minute ETA. Mercy Flight #5 out of Batavia dispatched. A second ambulance from Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 11:50 p.m.: Churchville fire requested to the scene.

UPDATE 11:52  p.m.: One of the cars is on fire.

UPDATE 11:57 p.m.: A medic  tells dispatch, "we've got one critical, one who could be BLS (basic life support)." Another medic informs Mercy Flight that a patient is ready to go.

UPDATE 12:03 a.m.: Another Mercy EMS unit is in route to the scene.

UPDATE 12:13 a.m.: One of the seriously injured is a teenager. The car fire is out.

UPDATE 12:14 a.m.: Bergen ambulance is transporting one to Strong.

UPDATE 12:15 a.m.: All victims extricated.

UPDATE 12:17 a.m.: There may be two separate calls here, with Le Roy working the Thruway accident and Bergen on a fire call on Route 490. A second patient being transported to Strong. An update coming on a third patient.

UPDATE 12:21 a.m.: Mercy Flight #9 is on the ground.  

UPDATE 12:25 a.m.: A Mercy Flight helicopter is headed to Strong. Another patient also being transported to Strong.

UPDATE 12:39 a.m.: A third helicopter did land at the scene, Mercy Flight #10. It is now in route to Strong.

UPDATE 12:50 a.m.: Units are starting to go back in service.

UPDATE 1:31 a.m.: Photo from our news partner, 13WHAM. Also, Bergen assignment from the 490 back in service.


Reader submitted photo.


Reader submitted photo.

October 15, 2016 - 11:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, oakfield-alabama, elba.


Oakfield-Alabama/Elba ruined an otherwise perfect homecoming night for Notre Dame to end the season by scoring 16 fourth quarter points to seal a 22-6 win.

It was the first win of the season for OA/Elba, so both teams finish the year at 1-6.

QB Reice Woodward was only 1-7 passing for one yard, but he gained 149 yards on the ground on 14 carries and scored twice. Tucker Bezon rushed for 75 yards on 18 carries.

For the Irish, Brendan Klotzbach was 10-16 passing for 107 yards.








To purchase prints, click here.

October 15, 2016 - 10:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, football.


  • In overtime, Le Roy fell to archrival Cal-Mum in the final game of the season, 30-22. Le Roy still makes sectionals, with a first ground game against East Rochester. Josh Laurie was 10-17 passing for 86 yards, gained another 21 on the ground. Dom Filio had 13 rushes for 22 yards and two touchdowns. Ryan Boyce caught two passes for 55 yards, Nate Flint, five or 32 and Reece Tresco, three for 15. Justin DiFalco has 12 tackles and two sacks. (Game photos by David Boyce. (For more, click here))
  • Batavia won a triple-overtime thriller over Clyde-Savannah, 40-34, to finish the regular season at 7-0 behind big nights for Jerry Reinhart and Ray Leach. Reinhart was 18-26 passing for 321 yards and one TD. He also ran the ball into the end zone once himself. Leach, who sat out most of the first half, scored four times on 14 carries for 167 yards. Chandler Baker had 66 yards receiving and Andrew Mruczek pulled in passes for 100 yards. Anthony Ray led the defense with eight tackles and a sack.
  • In a matchup of undefeated Class D teams, Alexander prevailed over C.G. Finney, 48-7. Finney opened the game with a nine-minute drive for a score, but the rest of the game belonged to Alexander. Dane Heberlein had 11 carries for 141 yards. P.J. Brennan completed six of seven passes for 141 yards and four TDs with no interceptions. Derrick Busch had four catches for 111 yards and three TDs. On defense, Mitch Gordon had 16 tackles. Heberlein, 11, Zach Jasen, 13 and Ryan Mileham had five tackles and a fumble recovery. Erik Scharlau also had a fumble recovery. (Game photos by Rick Franclemont (for more, click here))
  • York/Pavilion fell to Canisteo-Greenwood, 20-34.
  • Pembroke beat Nichols, 42-22.







October 15, 2016 - 6:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in history, Oakfield, news.


Bill Chase, a tour guide today, stands on "the big rock" near the site of what was once one of the largest Native American settlements in the region, on property now owned by Lamb Farms in the Town of Oakfield. The rock may have served as a grinding stone for the Indians, but there is little evidence to support that supposition. At one time, Town of Oakfield considered moving the stone into Triangle Park.

The visit to the big rock was part of four tours today of 30 people each to the site known to later generations of Seneca as Tegat Ainea Aghgue, or town with two forts.  It's the first time the Oakfield Historical Society organized a tour of the site and it proved to be hugely popular. All four tours were sold out and another 30 or 40 people wanted to go on the tour.

The location of the other fort has never been confirmed, but the Oakfield fort was occupied for about 100 years during the 12th and 13th centuries.

The fort was located on the banks of a creek in an area that may have been cleared of trees by fire. Evidence suggests that the Indians waited for new saplings to grow big enough and tall enough to serve as a fence for the fort. They also dug a ditch around the five acres of the fort.

Reverend Samuel Kirkland first visited the site in 1788 and found large trees growing in the area, but the mound and ditch were clearly visible. 

Sixty years later, E.G. Squire mapped the fort, even though part had been cleared by that time for farmland. 

The woods were filled with trees of enormous size and age, he reported. 

Kirkland may have found the second fort, but it has never been located since.

In 1958, a team from University at Buffalo, led by professor Marion White, assisted by amateur archeologist Stanley Vanderlaan, dug a portion of the site and discovered the remains of three longhouses. 

Many residents have known about the area their whole lives and one person on the tour said for a long time it was still possible to find arrowheads in the farm field right after the spring plowing.

The land is privately owned, but that doesn't stop motorcyclists and ATV riders from using the trails in the area. 

The guide reminded everybody they should not visit the site without permission. There may come a day in the future when archeologists want to return, perhaps with better and more sophisticated equipment to help uncover more about the lives of these early settlers. 


The embankment to the right is part of the ditch that surrounded the fort.



This white oak -- the white oak is what gives Oakfield its name -- is possibly the largest and oldest still standing in Oakfield. It's more than 300 years old. Each member of the tour was offered an acorn from a white oak to take home and try and grow. 










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