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September 5, 2016 - 2:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Le Roy.

A motor vehicle accident with injuries is reported at 117 East Main St., Le Roy.

Le Roy Fire and Le Roy Ambulance dispatched.

UPDATE 2:12 p.m.: Fire Police requested for traffic control.

UPDATE 2:24 p.m.: Patient extricated.

September 5, 2016 - 8:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.


A motor-vehicle accident with injuries is reported at Oak Street and Richmond Avenue.

City fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 9:20 a.m.: No injuries. Police believe the driver of the sedan, heading west on Richmond, ran a red light.

September 4, 2016 - 1:53pm
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.
September 4, 2016 - 8:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, Notre Dame, football, sports.


The Alexander Trojans beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a Saturday night game played in Warsaw (because of renovations to Alexander's field) 45-15.

The Trojans scored all of their points in the first half and the Irish scored theirs in the second.

P.J. Brennan was 10 of 16 passing for 198 yards and three TDs and zero interceptions for Alexander. Derrick Busch caught three balls for 75 yards and two TDs. Dane Heberlein rushed for 61 yards on 11 carries and scored twice. Job Smith had 12 yards on three carries and scored. He also had two receptions for 26 yards and scored on a nine-yard TD pass. Chris McClinic caught two passes for 54 yards.

On defense, Eric Scharlau had three sacks and Zach Jasen had a sack and two tackles.








To purchase prints, click here.

September 3, 2016 - 3:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sweet Pea's Cupcakery, batavia, business, news, Batavia PD.


The day in the life of a police officer isn't always just about seeing bad people do bad things, they also see good people doing good things. And the folks at Sweet Pea's Cupcakery Cafe on Jackson Street wanted to provide a way for Batavia PD officers to reward the people they come across who do the little things to help make the community better. They made up "Random Act of Cupcake" cards for police officers to hand out to people they come across doing good things.

The cards read, "You've been caught doing good! Enjoy a free cupcake or cookie."

Pictured Lyndsey, from Sweet Pea's, and Officer Mitchell Cowen, who helped coordinate the effort with Batavia PD.

September 3, 2016 - 2:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, alexander, news.
      Nicholas Mruczek

The man who shot and killed an Alexander High School graduate last year entered a guilty plea and will serve at least 45 years in prison.

Zachary Ludwig was sentenced in West Chester, Pa., on Friday.

Ludwig admitted to buying an unregistered shotgun, cutting its barrel down to 12 inches and then luring Nichols Mruczek out of his apartment and firing the gun at point-blank range.

Ludwig was angry because Mruczek was in a relationship with his ex-girlfriend.

Reporter Michael P. Rellahan was in court Friday for the hearing and published a detailed account of the proceedings for the Phoenix Reporter. 

Mruczek's parents and brother spoke in court about the devastating loss their family suffered.

“He was one in a million,” said his mother, Dawn Werner, who had traveled from New York to attend the hearing, as had the others. “He had a smile that would light up a room, and he learned at a young age that if he flashed that smile he could melt your heart."

The prosecution consulted the family prior to the plea deal and Nick's brother Justin acknowledged that it would be impossible to fashion a deal that would bring his brother back.

“I wish I could honestly say and think that justice has been served but there is no amount of jail time that can bring back such a beautiful, fun-loving life like my brother’s," Justin said.

Nick's father, Pat Mruczek, recalled how he spoke to his son daily and his mobile phone has become a difficult reminder of what he's lost.

“My cell phone only reminds me of the death of my son," Pat Mruczek said. "How I hate my phone. If it was not for all the pictures (of Mruczek) I have on it I would have thrown it away long ago.

“A big part of my life is gone and I will never get that back,” he added.

Ludwig said he deeply regrets his crime.

“Every day I wish I could bring Mruczek back," Ludwig said. "I can never forgive myself for what I’ve done. I cannot apologize enough.

“I understand if you think I am a monster,” Ludwig added. “I’d have to agree with you.”

Ludwig, who could have received a life prison sentence if convicted by a jury, admitted to third-degree murder, which carried a maximum penalty of 20 to 40 years in prison. However, he was given a 45-90 year sentence because he also entered guilty pleas to attempted burglary, terroristic threats, prohibited offensive weapons, recklessly endangering another person and possession of instruments of a crime.

The 23-year-old Ludwig was offered the plea deal, and the chance to some day get out of prison, according to Deputy District Attorney Michelle Frei, because of his contrition, lack of prior criminal record and relatively young age.

September 3, 2016 - 1:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BID, batavia, business, news.

Laurie Oltramari, executive director of the Batavia Improvement District, turned in her letter of resignation this week.

BID president Victor Gautieri confirmed the resignation and said the board would meet in the coming week to decide what to do next. 

Oltramari led the organization for a year. 

Gautieri declined further comment.

September 3, 2016 - 1:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, football, sports.


Le Roy fell 60-32 to Bath in its season opener in Bath.

Photos by David Boyce. For more photos from the game, click here.






September 3, 2016 - 12:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, news, batavia, Batavia HS.


The Batavia Blue Devils, 2016 edition, quietly took apart Greece Olympia/Odyssey on Woodward Field on Friday night to the point that the Spartans seems to have lost their fight by the third quarter.

It's as if the team that has won two consecutive Section V titles hasn't missed a beat. In fact, the win was the 20th straight for the program against a Section V opponent.

The final score was 39-0.

"I'm very pleased because going into the game I wasn't sure what we had," said Head Coach Brennan Briggs. "I wasn't sure how we would respond to things and how we were going to go when we got hit in the mouth. But these guys came out and proved that they bought in and they’re a tough group of kids and we’ve got some playmakers out there. I’m very excited for what they can do from here."

This edition slots Jerry Reinhart and QB1 and, Ray Leach and Codie Dioguardi in the backfield, Chandler Baker, Andrew Mruczek and Eric Davis at wideouts and a defense that includes Baker, Mruczek, Taiyo Iburi-Bethel, Anthony Ray and Jzon Richardson.

Those are not names that popped up in many headlines over the past two championship seasons, but they're all players poised to make an impact, if one game is any indication, in 2016.

Reinhart certainly has a lot of confidence in his teammates.

"Everybody asked me, they all asked me, 'how are you guys going to be this year?' and I was like, 'come to the first game and find out,' " Reinhart said. "I was very positive about our team. In the off-season, I thought we were going do great."

Briggs is impressed with the quiet leadership Reinhart has brought to the team, replacing Andrew Mruczek's older brother, Greg, at quarterback.

"Greg was more rah-rah and everything and great about it," Briggs said. "Jerry is more reserved, but he goes out there and gets the job done. He's a leader. He's a great leader. You saw, he made some big plays. He's not afraid to tuck it and run and he kept us together. I'm proud of him. He did a great job."

Friday was also a chance for Andrew to move out from under the shadow of his older brother, and in a big way, and significantly with a key interception in the first quarter.

"I think the biggest turning point in that game was Andrew Mruczek's interception," Briggs said. "They had a drive going, I think 10-plus plays, and we always say a nine-plus play drive is devastating for a defense and we were starting to feel it and all the sudden, number 21 comes in and makes a huge play for us. I’m happy for him because he’s been a trooper and he’s been working his butt off and he’s just silently been doing it."

Mruczek exemplifies the quiet confidence that characterizes the team.

"I think people are going to realize, Batavia football is here to stay and we're going to keep working hard every day," Mruczek said.

The offense was good, the defense was good, but special teams really stepped it up Friday night.

Richardson, a linebacker on defense, handles kickoffs, extra points and field goals. On kickoffs Friday, he consistently put the ball past the 10-yard line, and with defenders hustling down the field, the Spartans were routinely starting drives with their backs to the wall.

"That is so big for our team," Briggs said. "From the standpoint of having just great energy and momentum, they did a fantastic job for us and special teams cannot be overlooked because field position is huge in football games."

Briggs praised the work of special teams coach Ben Buchholz in motivating the players and getting each to do their part to plug holes and cut lanes, and John Garlock has been applying those lessons well, Briggs said.

"Johnny Garlock has been doing it for us for three years and he goes down like a missile," Briggs said. "He’s long snapper on punts and the first guy down there and on kickoff coverage, he makes the plays."







To purchase prints, click here.

September 3, 2016 - 8:36am
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.
September 2, 2016 - 12:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield, news.
      Serena Snyder

A 31-year-old Oakfield resident has been accused of smuggling suboxone and heroin into the Genesee County Jail and delivering them to her husband, who is an inmate.

Serena L. Snyder is accused of bringing the narcotics to Cody E. Snyder, 25.

Serena Snyder was allegedly found possession of heroin while at the jail on a visitation to her husband.

The Local Drug Task Force handled the investigation. Agents concluded Serena Snyder had allegedly delivered drugs to her husband on two prior occasions.

Task Force members, along with Deputy Chris Erion and K-9 Destro searched Serena Snyder's car and allegedly found heroin and crack cocaine. 

Serena Snyder was charged with attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, criminal sale of a controlled substance, 4th, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 5th, conspiracy, 4th, promoting prison contraband, 1st, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th.

Cody Snyder was charged with conspiracy, 4th.

Serena Snyder was arraigned in City Court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

September 2, 2016 - 8:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports.

Here's a collection of all our pre-season, training camp, football pictures.

To purchase prints of preseason football pictures, click here.

Here's our pre-season previews:

The season opens tonight.

Tonight's games:

  • Batavia hosts Greece Olympia/Odyssey, 7 p.m.
  • Pembroke hosts Attica, 7 p.m.
  • Byron-Bergen, now with Cal-Mum, is at Livonia, 7:30 p.m.
  • York/Pavilion is at Letchworth/Warsaw, 7:30 p.m.
  • Le Roy is at Bath, 7:30 p.m.

Tomorrow's games:

  • Oakfield-Alabama/Elba is at C.G. Finney/Northstar, 1:30 p.m.
  • Alexander plays Notre Dame in Warsaw, 7:30 p.m.
September 2, 2016 - 6:21am
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.
September 1, 2016 - 10:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, agricultre, Bethany, news.

We just received this message:

There are 7 white sheep wandering around lost in the Bethany area after escaping through an open gate. Last sighted on a trail cam near Cackner Rd. and Bethany Center Rd. Please contact Barbara Hollands 585-734-2236 if you see them. They are a bit shy of people but like grain and will come to someone shaking a bucket of grain.

UPDATE Friday, 10:23 a.m.: Thanks to the help of neighbor Pat Pietrzykowski, all seven sheep have been located, rounded up and returned home, where they are safe and sound.

September 1, 2016 - 5:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Foxprowl, downtown, batavia, business.


It's a lot of work moving thousands of collectible toys along with 40,000 comic books, but that's what Bill Hume, along with his wife, Joy, staff member Wayne Stahler along with helpers and friends have been doing for the past few days.

Hume opened Foxprowl at its new location at Main and Jackson, downtown Batavia today, even though not everything is unboxed or on the shelves yet.

We've covered Foxprowl from its opening on Ellicott Street over the years and watched the business grow. The store expanded, added inventory and Hume hosted a convention in Batavia last year (it will return this year; details to be announced).

Several other small businesses have come and gone in Batavia in that time, but Hume has persisted and succeeded. He said lasting and growing has had a lot to do with his passion for the business, his passion for collectibles and his willingness and enjoyment to work the long hours necessary.

September 1, 2016 - 5:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, bergen, news.


A reader submitted this photo of a tractor-trailer that went off the around 4:20 p.m. on Bergen Road. No injuries reported.

September 1, 2016 - 1:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, schools, education.


Pembroke Junior/Senior High School unveiled a new logo and new sign in a brief ceremony Wednesday evening.

The new logo was designed by Matt Steinburg, a 1991 graduate of Pembroke who now lives in Corfu with his wife, Anne, and son, Benjamin. He is creative director for Visit Buffalo and won the new logo contest. Matt also created a custom font for "Pembroke." He estimated he put in more than 100 hours of volunteer time into the effort.

September 1, 2016 - 12:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, football, sports.


Pembroke has a new Head Coach, Ray Stoldt, but the only returning starting QB in the Genesee Region League.

Reid Miano will take snaps behind an experienced line, but they've got the size to protect him once they make the adjustment to the speed and technique of varsity-level football.

"I think they come around later in the year," said Stoldt, who has spent his career with Pembroke as an assistant on varsity and then coach of modified the past two seasons.

Blocking will be key because Miano, given time, can pass well and he's got some weapons at wideout, Stoldt said.

"I think every coach will always like to be a little further ahead at this point, but we’re young and we’re getting better every snap," Stoldt said.






September 1, 2016 - 11:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, alexander.


With 15 seniors and a trio of returning all-league defensive players and a new QB with a strong arm and field smarts, Alexander's Head Coach Tim Sawyer likes what he sees so far of the 2016 Trojans.

"I feel like I’ve got a fast and physical group of kids who understand our systems both offensively and defensively," Sawyer said. "It’s been fun. It’s been a good camp this year."

Alexander opens against Notre Dame tonight (at 7 p.m. in Perry, (NOTE: As soon as I hit publish on this story I got an e-mail from a Section V official saying the game has been moved to Saturday in Warsaw) because of renovations to Alexander's home field. 

Sawyer knows the Fighting Irish will be a tough match right out of the gate.

"There's not a lot of kids (at Notre Dame), but they get after it," Sawyer said. "It doesn’t matter the size, those kids will play. They always play tough."

Week two doesn't get any easier because the Trojans face perennial powerhouse Attica.

"Within the first two weeks, we’re going to know kinda where we stand," Sawyer said.

The starting QB is P.J. Brennan, a senior who was Jared Browne's backup last season. He's not big, Sawyer said, but he's got a strong arm and he handles read-options well.

Among his weapons is returning wideout Derrick Busch. He'll also marshal a rotation of running backs.

Josh Hylkema, Dustin Schmeider and Jake Jasen, all over 200 pounds and all all-league on defense last year, are back and ready to anchor a squad that also includes Busch, Dane Heberlein, Jacob Bykowski and Erik Scharlau (who's also expected to have an impact at tight end this season).

And for the first time in school history, Alexander will have a girl on the squad. Rather than play soccer this year, Hannah Paolucci will be one of two place kickers on the Trojans (bottom photo).








September 1, 2016 - 10:17am

The latest legal challenges to live, amplified music at Frost Ridge Campground in Le Roy have been dismissed by Judge Emilio Colaiacovo, meaning owners David and Greg Lueticke-Archbell will be able to continue their concert series, Jam at the Ridge.

Colaiacovo ruled that the Zoning Board of Appeals acted with appropriate consideration and diligence when deciding live, amplified music was a prior non-conforming use and that there was no substantive violation of the state's open meetings law when it reached that decision in February.

Attorneys for David and Amy Cleere and Scott and Betsy Collins challenged the ZBA's decision on both of those counts.

The decision seemingly concludes two years of legal fights initiated by the Cleeres and Collins and initially backed by the Town of Le Roy.

The plaintiffs maintained all along that Frost Ridge violated the town's zoning laws, because it is in an agricultural-residential district, by hosting music concerts at the campground.

The owners and their supporters countered that both live music and amplified music had been part of the operations of the campground since the 1960s, which means those uses were grandfathered in, or prior, non-conforming uses, before the R-A district was created.

The ZBA met at least twice prior to the lawsuits being filed and sided with David and Greg Lueticke-Archbell, but Judge Robert C. Noonan, who retired earlier this year, ruled that the ZBA meetings where these decisions were made were not properly noticed (a violation of the state's open meetings law), so he ordered the ZBA to hold a new public hearing.

The town board then tried to disband the ZBA -- which at the time was a joint board of the town and the village -- but Noonan barred dissolution of the ZBA until after it conducted a new hearing and issued a decision. 

The ZBA met in December and collected documents and testimony at the time, but never publicly deliberated the issue and issued its decision without a public vote in February. 

Colaiacovo ruled that even if these actions were a technical violation of the open meeting law, the record is clear that the ZBA members had ample information about the issue without the need for public deliberation and there was no evidence presented that the matter was discussed in a closed meeting by the board. 

"The Court finds that the alleged failure to vote on its decision in public is a de minimis technical violation that, in light of the exhaustive record and consistency of the ZBA's determination that there exists a prior, non-conforming use, injunctive relief is not warranted," Colaiacovo wrote in his decision.

Colaiacovo said it was not the court's place, based on case law, to decide whether the ZBA reached the correct decision, only that the decision was reasonable and not arbitrary and capricious.

The mere fact that the plaintiffs disagree with the decision is not evidence that it is arbitrary and capricious, he said.

Courts must be careful, according to case law, not to overturn local decisions that are based on substantial evidence and are rational, he said.

The record shows the ZBA had a substantial amount of testimony and evidence to consider that seemed to back the conclusion of a prior, non-conforming use, he said. 

"The ZBA held that these activities occurred to varying degrees prior to the adoption of the Town Zoning Code," Colaiacovo wrote. "The ZBA referenced Mr. (Eugene) Sinclair's testimony, which established that the defendants' actions were 'consistent with the essential character of the property as a prior, non-conforming use.' Accordingly, the ZBA, after exhausting its reasons for its determination, found that the use of the property as a campground, which permitted live and recorded music, limited food service, and allowed the use of recreational vehicles, was a prior, non-conforming use as permitted by the Town of Le Roy Zoning Code.

"Based on the foregoing," he continued, "the Court finds that the determination of the ZBA is based on substantial evidence that was made part of an extensive record. As such, because the ZBA had a rational basis to reach its decision, this Court will not disturb it."

He added, "Nothing in the record demonstrates that the ZBA reached its determination haphazardly."




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