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October 2, 2015 - 10:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Middle School, City Schools, schools, education, batavia.


It was a full house at Batavia Middle School on Thursday night for the school's open house.

Above, the Houseknecht family, Mike, Jen and Ella, share a laugh with Ella's sixth-grade math teacher, Andy Reagan.






October 2, 2015 - 9:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in UMMC, batavia.


More than 300 people were at Batavia Downs last night for UMMC's annual Pink Hat dinner, which honors cancer survivors. 






October 2, 2015 - 9:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in YWCA, Stiletto & Sneaker Walk, batavia, domestic violence.


Former Buffalo Bills Special Teams star Steve Tasker kicked off yesterday's Stiletto & Sneaker Walk, a fundraiser and community event aimed at raising awareness about domestic violence. A number of GCC students and athletes, along with some high school athletes, joined in the walk this year.



YWCA Executive Director Jeanne Walton








October 2, 2015 - 9:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, batavia, AJ's Crafts.


Andre Gliwski Jr. has moved his retail store, AJ's Crafts, from its original East Main Street location to 240 Ellicott St. The move into the slightly smaller space will reduce his overhead, Gliwski said, and with a city-plowed lot next door, parking will be easier for his customers. With the move, a couple of new vendors added their wares, increasing the store's inventory.

October 1, 2015 - 11:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia.

John W. Walsh, 32, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with open container, public lewdness and acting in a manner injurious to a child less than 17. Walsh allegedly urinated in Pringle Park, Batavia, at 1:25 p.m. Sunday while children were present.

George G. Johnson, 62, of Scotland Road, Akron, is charged with petit larceny. Johnson is accused of shoplifting at Tops Market.

James E. Wroten, 48, no permanent address, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Wroten allegedly violated a stay away order of protect. He was jailed on $1,500 bail.

Latoya Yalanda Stanley, 27, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on warrants for alleged aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, and, 3rd. Stanley allegedly failed to appear on the charges. Bail was set at $100.

October 1, 2015 - 11:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Aldi's, business, batavia.


A cleaner, brighter Aldi's reopened this morning, right on schedule, after being closed for nearly a month for remodeling. A couple of dozen people lined up to be the first in the upgraded store. The biggest visible upgrade, an expanded produce section.

Pictured above are Store Manager Eric Murphy and District Manager Jenna Bruning.





September 30, 2015 - 8:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Barry Miller, bergen.


Christopher Cameron‎ shared this on Facebook and gave us permission to republish it on The Batavian.

Here's what he wrote:

My son was home sick today. He was on our porch with his mother when the funeral procession for Barry Miller passed. Like any 4-year-old he was amazed by it and asked a hundred questions. Later when his mom took him to Dunkin' Donuts he saw "a sad firefighter drinking coffee." When I got home from work he was playing with his Legos on the floor. He told me he made a memorial for the ambulance guy and all of the rescue guys were sad. So I promised him I would take this picture so that the Lego men could say goodbye. His memorial is in the center.

September 30, 2015 - 5:00pm

We're ending this little experiment we called The Batavian Club. It's a lot of work that we're always behind on for too little return. That's the bad news.

The good news is, we're still going to offer the same fantastic deals with local businesses in special gift certificate packages.

Essentially, it's The Batavian Club without calling it a club. The big difference on our end is we save the work on tracking members and printing membership cards, which always seemed to bog us down and create a lot of unnecessary expense. We will be able to send out money-saving gift certificates much sooner after an order is placed when we don't have to make batches of individual membership cards. 

For local businesses, it's the same great promotion as before. There's no additional expense beyond honoring the gift cards when customers come in. If your business is not already participating, call me at (585) 250-4118.

For those who had recurring payments set up in PayPal, I just canceled all of those so there will be no future payments from your account. There are three people who have joined since we last sent out membership packages. They will get a refund. For all other members, they should be up-to-date with membership cards and gift certificates and the stated expiration dates still apply.

September 30, 2015 - 4:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, crime.


Long and lean, this silver streak of a machine practically still has that new car smell with only 28,000 miles on it.

And it could be yours, if you're the highest bidder in an online auction that will open Oct. 6.

The 1999 Corvette was surrendered by its former owner, Anthony A. Leone, a 47-year-old former Jackson Street resident who is currently in prison. Leone signed over the car to the county under forfeiture laws pertaining to drug possession. Leone was stopped by a Le Roy police officer while driving the car and a subsequent investigation, which included the Local Drug Task Force, found a quantity of crack cocaine and pills in the vehicle. 

Since the Sheriff's Office has no legitimate law enforcement use for the Corvette, the county is putting it up for sale. The proceeds will be shared by the agencies that comprise the local Drug Task Force -- Sheriff's Office, Batavia PD, and Le Roy PD. The money can only be used for law enforcement purposes and only for expeditures beyond normal annual budget spending. For example, if the county wanted to buy new surveillance cameras for the task force, but those cameras aren't an otherwise anticipated purchase, the money could be used for that purpose.

Pictured with the car are Undersheriff William Sheron and Sheriff Gary Maha.

The auction site is Bidding opens Oct. 6 and closes Oct. 13. The minimum bid is $15,500.

The car can be viewed by potential bidders at the Sheriff's Office, 165 Park Road, Batavia. For an appointment, contact Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster at (585) 345-3000, ext. 3503.





September 30, 2015 - 3:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia.

Chrisjon M. Canty, 20, of Rochester, is charged with felony forgery, felony criminal possession of stolen property, identity theft and petit larceny. Canty is accused of making unauthorized purchases totalling $350 with another person's bank debit card. Canty was identified through the use of video surveillance. He was jailed on $10,000 bail.

McKenzie D. Stevens, 21, residence not disclosed, is charged with petit larceny. Stevens is accused of placing three DVDs, burritos and laundry soap, worth approximately $21, in her baby stroller and exiting Walmart without paying for the items.

Joshua Jake Macklem, 23, of Jackson Street, Attica, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs, unlawful possession of marijuana, driving with a broken windshield, side windows non-transparent. Macklem was stopped at 8:16 p.m. Monday on East Main Street Road, Batavia, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

September 30, 2015 - 1:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Barry Miller, bergen.

For those who missed the final call for Barry Miller, broadcast by Genesee County Emergency Dispatch, at 1:30 p.m., yesterday.


September 30, 2015 - 8:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia.

Though she admitted to selling $60 worth of suboxone to an undercover agent of the Local Drug Task Force, Suzanne Corona won't be going to prison, at least so long as she can abide by the terms and conditions of her probationary sentence.

Corona, often in trouble with the law from 2010 to 2014, had never faced a felony charge until her arrest for criminal sale of a controlled substance earlier this year.

She entered a guilty plea to that charge Aug. 3 and though Judge Robert C. Noonan predicted a prison term for Corona, on the recommendation of the county's Probation Department and without objection from the District Attorney's Office, Noonan granted Corona probation.

If she abides by the terms, she avoids time by prison.

Corona made headlines worldwide when she was arrested on an adultery charge in 2010 after being observed in an apparent sexual act with a man not her husband on a picnic table in Farrell Park. Then came accusations of shoplifting from a local restaurant, which led to a disturbance there and Corona being wheeled away on a gurney into a waiting ambulance, and various other shoplifting charges, including an arrest at Target on a day when a Sheriff's deputy was there doing a K-9 demonstration.

For a long stretch after that, Corona seemed to avoid getting into trouble and then came the drug sales arrest.

(Our news partner WBTA assisted with this report.)

September 29, 2015 - 10:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

City fire is responding to Edwards Street following a report of an explosion in the area.

There is a power outage reported on Edwards Street as well as Ellicott Street.

UPDATE 12:15 a.m.: National Grid reports power is out for 11 customers. A crew has been assigned. No ETA on when repairs will be completed.

September 29, 2015 - 9:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu, pembroke, crime, Bethany.

From The Batavian's news partner, WBTA:

A young Pembroke woman, charged with manslaughter stemming from a fatal February accident in Bethany, will only be allowed to leave the home of her parents to attend outpatient rehab treatment.

Hannah Dibble, 22, appeared in Genesee County Court today asking permission to attend outpatient treatment and to attend church on Sunday morning.

Judge Robert Noonan allowed the outpatient treatment but denied permission for Dibble to attend church.

An evidence suppression hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 20th for lawyers to argue the admissibility of statements made by Dibble and others following the accident.

Dibble was driving the car in which 18-year-old Alyson Krzanak was killed and three others were seriously injured.

Dibble is accused of driving the car while intoxicated.

September 29, 2015 - 9:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Thomas Rocket Car, batavia, history.


davehowe_sept282015.jpg Backup cameras on cars, they're practically standard features on new cars and soon they'll be required. You might say, they were invented right here in Batavia, but long before cars even had air bags.

Oh, those were first dreamed up, in a fashion, by a Batavia inventor, too.

Charles D. Thomas, born in Batavia in 1910, grew up to be a car designer and his dream car was Thomas Rocket Car. Designed to be sleek and powerful, Thomas also dreamed of a car that was affordable and safe at a time when safety wasn't a high priority in Detroit. 

So he invented the "Ventriscope": a periscope-type of device that gave drivers of the world to their rear. He also came up with the idea of extra padding in the passenger compartment to protect occupants in a crash. Your car has four-wheel independent suspension. That didn't exist in 1938 when Thomas built his Rocket Car, which did have four-wheel independent suspension. 

When Thomas showed off his car in Detroit, experts agreed it was at least a decade ahead of its time.

You might say Charles Thomas was the Preston Tucker of Batavia, but it was also Tucker's failure to bring his own car to market as a mass-produced automobile that also doomed the Rocket Car. When Tucker failed, investors were scared off of such a unique and inventive conception of motoring. 

There was only one Thomas Rocket Car ever made. It was built in an auto shop about where Dunn Tire is now. A group of antique car buffs think it's time for this unique piece of Batavia history be returned to its rightful home, but it will take the cooperation of the City Council to make it happen.

Local businessman Dave Howe, owner of Charles Men's Shop and the Masonic Temple building, and an antique car collector, represented the group of would-be Rocket car restorers at Monday's council meeting and said the group has a simple request: That the city agree to accept the car, once it's fully restored, as a gift and agree to keep it and display it for the public.

Howe said he and the group believe the car will be a tourist attraction since its well known to auto history enthusiasts and car collectors and will give Batavia a unique perspective on the city's history.

The council will consider the request at its next business meeting.

Accepting the car as a gift will cost the city nothing, Howe said, and outside of keeping it clean and acquiring antique car insurance, which Howe described as inexpensive, the ongoing expense for the city will be minimal.

The group interested in restoring the car is really only interested in purchasing it (the car and all its parts have been located, but not yet acquired) if the city is willing to accept the gift.

September 29, 2015 - 8:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen.

Here is a complete set of pictures from today's funeral services for Barry Miller, the Bergen resident, small business owner, county coroner and volunteer EMT, who died last Wednesday when the ambulance he was riding in while responding to an emergency call ran into a piece of highway equipment.

Among the speakers was his friend, Town of Bergen Supervisor Don Cunningham, who noted the support and recognition the community showed by decorating the village with purple and black ribbons in Miller's honor. Cunningham said:

Barry wouldn't recognize those ribbons as for him. Barry would want those ribbons and that outpouring of kindness and the formal plans of today to be recognition for every man and woman in his department, for every uniformed individual here today, and for everyone who responds to help another. We can quickly forget that it could be any one of these first responders lynig before us here today. Barry wouldn't want us to forget that.

September 29, 2015 - 4:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia.

Press release:

The Batavia Police Department has received multiple complaints of fraudulent posts on social media (Craigslist, Facebook, and other similar Web sites) claiming to be John Gerace, a realtor of RealityUSA with property “for rent.” The postings are requesting a $700 deposit in exchange for keys to the residence. The only contact information on the postings is for [email protected].

The Batavia Police Department with the assistance of John Gerace, would like to remind the community not to give money up front for a rental apartment without first walking through the apartment and signing a lease agreement. If you feel have been part of this scam, please contact the Batavia Police Department at (585) 345-6350 to report the incident.

September 29, 2015 - 9:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Police Facility, batavia, Batavia PD.

There was very little disagreement among council members Monday night when it came to a decision on what to do in regards to a future new police headquarters, but it took a lot of chatter to reach that conclusion.

After about 15 minutes of council members saying much the same thing many times over, the Batavia City Council, without a vote, but by consensus, agreed that the city should move forward with a task force recommendation to select Swan Street as the location for the proposed station.

The big question is how to pay for it, and council agreed to ask city staff to prepare a report on funding options and anticipated costs.

"We have a recommendation," said Councilwoman Kathy Briggs to open to the discussion. "The volunteers on the task force did all this work and so, what are we going to do about it? Are we going to act on this? I think it's time to step up to the plate. The task force gave us all the information, all the facts and figures, so I say, let's move forward with the recommendation and direct the administration to see what kind of grants are out there."

Councilwoman Rosemary Christian said she's received a few calls on the topic from residents worried about how the city is going to pay for it, so she wants to know how the city is going to pay for it. Are taxes going to be raised?

Councilman Kris Doeringer followed: "I move we come to a consensus to follow the recommendation with Swan Street and then direct the administration to come up with a report on how we're going to pay for it ... I think we all pretty much agree to follow the task force's recommendation, so, OK, yes, let's get that on the record and then move ahead and see how we're going to pay for it."

Briggs agreed with Doeringer.

Councilman Pierluigi Cipollone pointed out that options for paying for the station were pretty much spelled out in the task force's report.

"A lot of work has been done already on how we're going to pay for it," Cipollone said. "I think if you follow the report, the plan is we're going to pay down a lot of current debt and cycle that into paying for debt for the new facility. If we can get grants, so much the better, but quite a bit of work has gone into looking at this, and agree or disagree, here's how we're going to pay for it."

Christian: "I agree on the site. I do realize and appreciate that a lot of work went into this, but I'm still up in the air on how we're going to afford this."

Councilman Eugene Jankowski wondered if, given the amount of money involved, "if nine people should decide this." He wondered if the expenditure, especially if loans are involved, shouldn't go to a vote.

There was no answer to that question.

Councilman John Canale said he's heard from constituents who say other municipalities have built new police stations for a lot less than the estimates to build one in Batavia. He suggested those cities be researched and perhaps council members should visit those police stations and see if something similar would be suitable for Batavia.

"There may be some leg work that needs to be done here," Canale said.

September 29, 2015 - 9:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien.

A series of daylight residential burglaries has swept through the Town of Darien, reports the Sheriff's Office, and officials are asking for citizen help in thwarting the criminals.

In a statement from Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster, the office is asking that residents who see vehicles driving slowly through neighborhoods, stopped along the side of the road, or unfamiliar people walking down driveways or emerging from fields or wooded areas, be reported immediately.

Suspicious activity can be reported by calling 9-1-1 or (585) 343-5000.

Vehicle descriptions and license plate numbers are helpful if they can be obtained without risk.

There were three burglaries on Route 77, Darien, on Thursday and another was reported on Route 20 yesterday.  

Brewster said these crimes mirror similar reports in Erie and Wyoming counties, where jewelry and weapons have been stolen.

September 29, 2015 - 7:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in centennial committee, centennial celebration, batavia.


The Batavia Centennial Committee and its Legacy Sponsors are ready to present a gift to the city that LeAnna DiRisio, director of Vibrant Batavia, says will stand the test of time -- a sundial.

The sculpture, designed by local architect Ed Smart, would sit in the plaza in front of City Hall. The $15,000 to $20,000 expense is being paid for by the contributions several local businesses made to the Centennial Celebration as "Legacy Sponsors."

There's no expense to the city, but the City Council must approve placement of the sculpture on city property. The council will vote on the proposal at its next business meeting.

Made of steel and teak, with stainless steel lettering, DiRisio said the sculpture will be virtually maintenance free.

"The materials are solid," DiRisio told the council Monday night. "It will last a long time."

The committee hopes to start installation by the end of October and finish the project in early November so it's in place as the city wraps up its year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the city's incorporation.




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

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