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August 30, 2016 - 3:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jason Lang, business, Grab-a-Cab, batavia.


jasonlangaug2016.jpgJason Lang is trying to fashion for himself something that is rare in life: a do-over. And if he does, maybe he can set an example for others who fell for drugs as hard as he did.

Lang had a good life, as he sees it. He was running a successful cab company, making good money, and then he wanted to expand his entrepreneurial horizons.

He thought there might be a place in Batavia for a head shop with a tattoo and piercing parlor attached. He called it The Laughing Budda.  

Good name. Bad business.

"I opened the smoke shop and that was like the worse mistake of my life," Lang said. " I opened that because at the time, I was bored. The cab company at its peak and I wanted to find something new. As an entrepreneur, I was always thinking of different ideas so I thought of a tattoo, piercing and smoke shop and then the troubles that came with that business took me out of reality.

"It’s just a big regret," he added, "...If I could go back in time, I would have put more into the cab company instead of choosing another business."

Lang said he didn't start using drugs, specifically bath salts, until after law enforcement raided his shop and seized much of his inventory.

The seizure cost him more than $200,000, he said, and brought him to the brink of financial ruin.

He became depressed, he said.

Authorities had seized much of the synthetic drugs stored in his shop, but they didn't get all of it. The inventory he had left over, he started using.

This was the spring of 2012, when news was starting to spread across the country of people doing bizarre things while reportedly high on a form of synthetic drugs known as bath salts. 

By the summer, the strange behavior had spread to Batavia, with people climbing on roofs, getting into odd confrontations, causing trouble in the emergency room at UMMC, and Lang himself calling police with reports of gunshots at a local hotel (it didn't happen, and he was arrested for making a false report) and weaving tales of elaborate conspiracy theories.

"I just lost my mind," Lang said. "I was acting completely crazy. I had no concept of reality. I thought all these strange, crazy things were going on. I kept having run-ins with law enforcement and I got placed under mental arrest. It was just insane."

Lang knows he contributed to the rise of bath salt usage in Genesee County, and he now regrets it and apologizes to the community for it. But about the time his shop was closed, the 420 Emporium opened at 400 Ellicott St. The insanity continued until federal, state and local authorities raided that shop and another of the chain's locations in Brockport and Fulton as part of a nationwide operation to rein in bath salt distribution.

At first, the Laughing Buddha was much like any other head shop that had existed for decades. It sold paraphernalia, such as glass pipes, that technically had legitimate uses other than the consumption of illicit drugs, and the shop also offered tattoos and piercings, but in the process of building his business, Lang attended conventions in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. Distributors there were pushing products such as K2, Spice (synthetic marijuana) and Amp, among other products generally known as "bath salts" that were said to mimic harder drugs, such as cocaine.

"They were really pushing it on the smoke shops saying, ‘it’s legal. It’s nothing to worry about,'" Lang said. "They said there were these huge profits involved."

So, Lang stocked up. The packets were available under glass at his front counter. The law at the time was a bit more ambiguous. The federal law dealing with what are called analogues was considered hard to enforce and Lang's shop wasn't raided until after state health officials determined the drugs violated health and safety standards.

At the time, Lang said then and admits now, he didn't think the drugs were a big deal and back then he defended his business practices.

"At the time I was like, ‘I don’t care. It’s their choice,’ " Lang said. "If somebody wants to do any drug, that’s their choice. That’s the outlook I had on it. Now, that I’ve been on the other side of the fence and addicted to drugs, I would never open a business like that again or sell drugs, or be involved with anything like that, because now I know firsthand what it does to people. I was naive to that before."

Lang's fall was probably as complete as they come.  

According to Lang, by 2012, seven years after starting Batavia Cab, he was doing pretty well, pulling in $5,000 to $6,000 a week and by his own admission, feeling pretty cocky. He thought he had it good.

Before the year was out, he would have spent his first night in jail, had his name spread through the media from Rochester to Buffalo and be on the verge of losing his cab operation -- he did eventually sell it in 2013, and it is still in operation, with its third owner.

Criminal prosecution led to a chance at rehab, and through rehab, Lang met heroin.

"It was a big relief when I first started doing heroin because it took away all the paranoia and it got me away from the bath salts," said Lang, explaining the opiate's initial allure.

Of course, with heroin, once addicted -- and it's highly addictive -- the high you chase is elusive yet it's hard to function without the drug in your system. You need the drug just to feel normal (according to medical literature).

It didn't take long for heroin to wipe out what little money Lang had left and then he turned to shoplifiting. He was arrested in multiple jurisdictions, including as far away as Hamburg and Victor.  

"I was even homeless at one point, which was a huge turnaround for me because just years prior I was vacationing all over with my family and staying in nice hotels, and then I’m homeless in Rochester and I’m a heroin addict," Lang said.

He was eventually arrested on felonies in Orleans and Ontario counties, which led to a prison term.

Prison included three months of 23-hours-a-day locked by himself in a cell. That gave him a lot of time to think, he said.

"I wasn’t using drugs and in those moments of clarity I could think about everything," Lang said. "That's all you could do is sit and think all day. I realized I really screwed up. I decided to just get through the prison time. I choose not to use drugs in prison, and there are tons of drugs in prison, and I stayed clean the whole time I was in there. Because of that, they sent me to shock camp where I became a squad leader for my platoon. I really excelled through all of that and I just decided I wanted to get back to the old me."

Once home, his son, Lathan, started pushing him to get back into the cab business. Lang said Lathan is already bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and helped him plan his return.

Lathan even came up with the name for the new cab company, Grab-A-Cab.

Lang had already determined he wanted to stay away from a name with a regional identification. He felt calling his previous cab company, Batavia Cab, limited its growth potential. It made it hard to expand into other counties.

"I liked that name," Lang said of Grab-A-Cab. "It seemed kind of modern and trendy and I thought it would be a good name that would go with expanding the business and developing an app."

Lang admits to having big plans. The new cab company should launch soon. He's got one cab painted and decaled and ready to go and he's hired six drivers and plans to add a second cab to his fleet as soon as he can. And, yes, he hopes to build an app for cabbies. He said it will borrow ideas from Uber, which can't legally operate in Upstate, but for licensed and properly insured hacks.

"I miss the cab business," Lang said. "I love driving. I love meeting people, talking with people, knowing people, knowing other business owners. I miss it."

He thinks Batavia is still a wide open market and he's heard from friends and family and former customers who say the cab business in Batavia hasn't been the same since he got out of it. He said he's already lined up several transportation contracts, so he'll get off to a good start.

But he knows to keep it going, he's got to stay clean, and that means not associating with the people he did back when he was hooked on narcotics.

"I don’t talk to anybody who is involved in selling drugs or using drugs," Lang said. "I stay away from all of that now. I’ve got a lot of clean time now and I just want to do good. I know I have the potential to do good and I have good ideas. I learned a big lesson from everything."

If he does good, he thinks both his example, the money he earns and the business he's able to build, will enable him to be in a position to help other addicts.

He's gone from a guy who thought drugs were just a recreational activity that only losers couldn't handle to somebody who now understands drugs can grab ahold of anybody and change their lives in horrible ways.  

"I met people who have been using drugs since their teenage years and they don’t have any faith that there is any better life out there," Lang said. "They just keep relapsing and they just think there is nothing better. I want to prove to people that you can pull it together.

"I know people just look at addicts like scum of the earth," Lang added. "They're really not. There are a lot of really great people I’ve met in rehabs. A lot of people I met in prison, even though they may keep relapsing, going back to it, they don’t want that life. They don't want to be shoplifting and they don’t want to be committing whatever crimes they’re doing. They just have a really bad addiction that keeps leading them back to that."

He'd like to start a program for people who need a hand up, out of addiction.

"I'd like to help people who don't have entrepreneurial skills because nobody is going to give them a fair shot," Lang said. "There’s not a hot of help out there for people like that. Maybe I can help them with some other business venture, or help guys that need employment and need guidance and help them out because there's nobody who cares about them."

August 30, 2016 - 10:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Notre Dame.


After graduating 15 seniors, Notre Dame's starting varsity will feature a lot of new faces, but Head Coach Rick Mancuso says his players are working hard and will be ready for Thursday's season-opening kickoff at Alexander.

"We have a good group of kids," Mancuso said. "We’re really happy with the effort. We just came off our scrimmage the other day. We’ve got a lot of stuff to clean up, but the effort that they’re putting in is good."

Brendan Klotzbach takes over at QB and a trio of players -- Jordan Weatherwax, Jake Weatherwax and Cam Clark -- will rotate through the backfield.

The offensive and defensive lines are strong.

"We're down in numbers, but what we have is quality," Mancuso said. "We’ve got lot of growing pains to get through to get up to speed as quick as we can."









August 29, 2016 - 8:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in p.w. minor, business, batavia, news.


About 3,900 pairs of shoes are rolling down a highway tonight in the back of a semi-trailer bound for Louisiana.

The shoes are being donated to flood victims in the Baton Rouge area by p.w. minor.

CEO Pete Zeliff said he decided to make the donation just as a way to give back.

"Nothing more than that," he said.

"We partnered with a program called Soles for Souls through the National Shoe Retailers Association," Zeliff said. "They paid to send the truck and pay the freight and we specified that they go to Louisiana."

Most of the shoes on the 27 pallets loaded onto the truck this afternoon were manufactured in China and were being sold as closeouts, but Zeliff said he decided it would be better to donate them to flood victims.

Over the past several months, p.w. minor has moved production out of China with the goal of making all of the company's shoes in Batavia.

"We'll be making 500 pair a day by the end of this year and 1,000 pair a day by next August," Zeliff said.

Much of the ramp-up in production is made possible by a bevy of new machines that automate much of the shoe production process.

Zeliff said with a robot and another automated machine in place, the plant is already 20-percent automated. Nine more machines arrived within the past week and are being put into service.

The jobs of one of the machines in production can perform is to rough up the leather on the shoe so the glue binds better when the sole is attached.

"We went from five minutes to rough a pair of shoes to last week to Denise did a six-pair rack in 40 seconds," Zeliff said.

It's been his goal to move all of the company's shoe production back to Batavia since he and a partner rescued the business just before it was shut down, but the process has taken longer than expected.

"It will take three years from the time we invested in the assets of this company," Zeliff said. "It’s not as quick as I would have liked it to have been, but it’s still a pretty good accomplishment, I feel."

Below, photo provided by Pete Zeliff of his granddaughter, Nicole, with a country star Keith Urban and his band new pair of p.w. minor shoes. Zeliff took his family to see Urban at his show in Camden, N.J.


August 29, 2016 - 7:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany, news.

A car has reportedly hit a tree at East Road and Raymond Road, Bethany.

The driver was able to get out of the vehicle and has a complaint of chest pain.

Bethany fire and Mercy EMS responding.

August 28, 2016 - 10:42am


In five years of covering concerts at Frostridge, there are four shows I'm sure I'll always remember: Marty Stuart in 2011, which was my introduction to Jam at the Ridge, The Farm, featuring Alexander native Krista Marie, the time Blackjack Billy upstaged the night's headliner, Blackberry Smoke, that same year, and finally, Blackjack Billy's return to Le Roy last night.






August 27, 2016 - 2:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, batavia, news.


Over his 28 years in law enforcement, Kris Kautz has helped a lot of people and that's the best part of the job.

Mostly, it's about helping the victims of crime, mainly by finding the people who stole from them or harmed them or a member of their families.

But sometimes it's helping those same criminals get their lives turned around.

Now he's moving on to a job he thinks will be just as gratifying -- a security aide for Batavia City Schools.

"It’s a more laid-back position, obviously, but I’m looking forward to it, working with the kids and the school seems awesome," said Kautz, whose last day with the Sheriff's Office was Friday.

Kautz started with the department in 1988, three years after earning an associate degree in criminal justice at GCC.

"After I graduated, I realized to get those jobs, I would need to take exams," Kautz said. "That’s a good theory, I think. Do well on the exam and you should be a good candidate. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a very good test taker. I took many exams before I actually got a phone call. It was almost three full years before I got a job offer, and then, of course, I got three decent job offers within a month-and-a-half. Luckily, this job was one of them and it was really the job I was hoping for, so I accepted the position as a deputy."

Kautz was on road patrol for five years when he was promoted to investigator, the job he wanted all along.

He said he's been fortunate to stay in that position for 23 years, but now it's time to move on.

"You do reach a burnout factor," Kautz said. "I've probably reached the end of my shelf life. I'm not embarrassed to say that. I like to think I’ve done my part and it’s time to move on."

Leaving now isn't without its drawbacks. There are unsolved cases Kautz wishes were closed during his time in the investigator's office

"Those are kind of a sore spot," Kautz said. "Sometimes you know who you think did it, and you’re really close to solving it, but you just don’t have that extra piece."

Among the unsolved cases, Kautz worked are on is the Fickel murder.

"We worked long and hard on that for many, many months after that happened and unfortunately, the leads kind of started drying out and obvious we had another case load we needed to attend to," Kautz said. "It doesn’t get the attention we wish it would. We don’t have the luxury of having a quote-unquote 'homicide division' or 'burglary task force' or a 'sex crimes team.' "

Kautz leaves with cases pending, but there is a person of interest and some solid evidence that might one day hold up in court, but it will be up to other investigators to uncover the piece of evidence that wraps things up.

"We have been actively pursuing it and we’re just kind of crossing our fingers that maybe that one little piece of the puzzle we don’t have yet might show up one of these days," Kautz said.

(If you have information that might assist in the case, contact the Genesee County Sheriff's Office at (585) 343-5000.)

Much has changed over 23 years in how investigators do their jobs. There is new technology and new techniques, but the basics remain the same -- gather evidence, safeguard it, ask questions, test answers and build a case.

"I'm not saying it (new technology) has made it easier to solve cases, but it's really solidified convictions," Kautz said. "When there is a fingerprint or DNA evidence at a crime scene, you can't dispute it. You have a hard time explaining that away when you're a defendant."

Too many cases, just by the nature of things, go unsolved, but when they are solved, it's a great feeling, he said, especially when you see the satisfaction on the faces of the victims.

"It’s all about the victims because when you come home after working a hard day, working an honest job, and come home and your door is kicked in and your TV and your family heirlooms are gone, you’re furious and it's devastating," Kautz said. "That’s where the cops come in and do their best to solve it and it’s very, very, very gratifying when you do solve it for them."

And sometimes, solving a crime helps another person improve their own lives, and that's a good feeling, too, Kautz said.

"People always say this is the best job in the world and I really think that," Kautz said. "You really have a chance to make a difference for people, in people’s lives, not only making it right for the victims but also maybe contributing to the improvement of some of the defendants' lives. Maybe getting arrested can often be a positive thing in the long run for somebody. They know they screwed up. They know they’ve got problems. They know they’ve got things they need to address. Sometimes getting arrested will be that last little push they need to really get their lives straightened out."

Photo: Kris Kautz with his family, wife Susan, and daughters Kelsey, Adeline and Ella.

August 27, 2016 - 11:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake, darien lake performing arts center, Darien, crime, news.

The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office during the Florida Georgia Line concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Friday:

Beth A. Kulp, 34, of York Street, Honeoye Falls, is charged with third-degree assault after allegedly punching another patron, knocking that patron unconscious.

Laura A. Lukasiak, 26, of Chestnut Ridge Road, Orchard Park, is charged with second-degree harassment and resisting arrest after allegedly pushing and kicking a deputy and then resisting arrest. Lukasiak was arraigned in Darien Court and put in jail in lieu of $500 bail.

Tyler A. Becker, 18, of Schader Road, Wayland, is charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly fighting in the concert venue parking lot. Becker was arraigned in Darien Court and put in jail in lieu of $250 bail.

Mhari F, Fairgrieve, 19, of Highland Avenue, Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, is charged with two counts of second-degree harassment after allegedly hitting and scratching two Live Nation employees. Fairgrieve was arraigned in Darien Court and released on $250 bail.

Cesare C. Caponcini, 21, of Rykert Street, St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada, is charged with second-degree harassment after allegedly hitting and scratching a Live Nation employee. Caponcini was arraigned in Darien Court and released on $250 bail.

Briana M. Szczech, 25, of Scenic Circle, Rochester, is charged with second-degree harassment and disorderly conduct after allegedly fighting and biting Live Nation security officers.

Robert J. Turnquist, 26, of Davis Road, Westfalls, is charged with third-degree criminal trespass after allegedly climbing a fence into the VIP area and refusing to leave.

Samuel J. Eggleston, 20, of Delamater Road, Angola, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief after allegedly punching the rear window out of a car.

David C. Avayou, 51, of Buffalo Street, Hamburg, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of marijuana.

Steven J. Nichy, 18, of Jessica Lane, Depew, is charged with third-degree criminal trespass after allegedly climbing the fence to gain entry to the venue.

Janelle M. Clemmer, 34, of Zimmerman Street, North Tonawanda, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Jeffrey S. Masters, 55, of Zimmerman Street, North Tonawanda, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Chadd T. Lee, 23, of Doran Lane, Lima, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Mariah K. Winsor, 20, of Route 6, Kane, Pa., is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Jordan E. Demartino, 19, of Darlington Drive, Derby, is charged with third-degree criminal trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Sarah L. Lenegan, 21, of Lorfield Drive, Snyder, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

August 27, 2016 - 10:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Note: Today, we introduce another upgrade to our Deal of the Day program: E-mail notifications. For this post, people who have registered for Deal of the Day, have already received an e-mail notifying them of the post. That's the good news. The less-than-good news is that the process that is supposed to include what deals are new in today's post didn't work. That's something my server host needs to fix and hopefully they will do that within a day or two. In the meanwhile, register using the link directly below and you, too, can start receiving e-mail notifications when deals are posted and you'll increase your chances of winning the best new deals when they're posted!

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.
August 27, 2016 - 10:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia, news.

A two-car accident is reported in the area of 112 W. Main St., Batavia.

One person suffered a possible neck injury.

City fre and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 10:52 a.m.: One patient transported to UMMC for evaluation.

August 26, 2016 - 6:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, corfu.

A motor vehicle accident is reported on Route 77 at Water Street, Corfu.

There was airbag deployment and one person has minor leg injuries.

The seven people in the other car are likely signoffs.

Traffic is heavy on Route 77 because of a concert at Darien Lake tonight, Florida Georgia Line, is sold out.

August 26, 2016 - 10:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien, news.


A man who was found early this morning unconscious next to a compacting roller has died, according to State Police.

Investigators suspect he died due to medical issues since there are no signs of trauma on his body, though head trauma, which wasn't visible, has not been ruled out.

The cause of death is pending a report from a medical examiner, said James O'Callahan, public information officer for Troop A.

The man was found next to the piece of heavy construction equipment around 5:30 a.m. on Route 20 about 1/4 of a mile west of Harlow Road.

The equipment was upside down next to a flatbed truck trailer that had apparently transported it to that location. The truck was parked on the north shoulder, the westbound lane, pointed eastbound.

The victim, whose name has not been released, was transported by ground ambulance to an area hospital while CPR was performed.

Darien fire and Darien ambulance responded.

There is no further information available at this time pending completion of State Police reports. The State Police will release the name and any additional information when the reports are complete.

UPDATE 12:24 p.m.: The driver has been identified as Aaron L. Wellman, age 40.

(Initial Report)

August 26, 2016 - 10:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy, news.

A truck fire is reported on Clay Street, Le Roy, in front of the Le Roy Fire Hall.

Le Roy Fire dispatched.

UPDATE 10:13 p.m.: It's a recycling truck and there is smoke showing. Engine requested from a mutual aid department in Livingston County.

UPDATE 10:15 p.m.: Clay Street closed in both directions.

August 26, 2016 - 8:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Diana Kastenbaum, politics, news.

Press release:

Diana Kastenbaum, the Democratic candidate for NY-27, received a major endorsement this week by New York State’s 2.5-million member AFL-CIO. The endorsement came at the State Federation’s 33rd Constitutional Convention in New York City.

Mario Cilento, president of the New York State AFL-CIO, said, “The decisions made in Washington DC impact the lives and economic well-being of all working men and women which is why the Labor Movement will do everything within our power to elect candidates committed to putting the interests of working people first.”

Kastenbaum said, “I am deeply honored and grateful for the endorsement of New York State’s AFL-CIO. My husband and I have been proud members of two unions in the AFL-CIO family. American workers are the backbone of our country and I intend to fight for working families to see that we achieve our goals of growing our economy with more jobs, a livable wage, healthcare and education.”

August 26, 2016 - 8:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, news.

From Chris Hayward, Le Roy chief of police:

The Le Roy Police Department is accepting resumes for two full-time police officer positions. Candidates must already have civil service status or be on the Genesee County list to be considered. Interested parties must submit a resume to the Le Roy Police Department at 3 W. Main St., Le Roy NY 14482. ATTN: Chief Christopher Hayward. Resumes will be accepted until the close of business Friday, Sept. 16, 2016.

August 26, 2016 - 7:59am
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.

Notes on updates and fixes:

  • By request, users can now click a link to sign out of their account.
  • Bug fix: If users were not signed in, when they clicked the orange "Buy Now" button, they would get an error. We now tell users they need to be registered and signed in with links to help with that process.
  • Bug fix: When people requested a new password, they were not receiving that e-mail. That, too, appears to be fixed now. This will generate a new password for you. We do not yet have a way for you to view your registration and update your own password (this will be available at some point).
  • If you still encounter technical issues, email [email protected] Please be as specific as possible about the error you encountered or difficulty you had.
August 25, 2016 - 10:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Darien.

The driver of a car that hit a porch at Sumner and Alleghany roads in Darien is reportedly unconscious.

Darien fire and Darien ambulance dispatched.

UPDATE 11:02 p.m.: Appears to be non-serious injuries.

August 25, 2016 - 3:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.


Photo and story via our news partner, WBTA.

R. Stephen Hawley, who was 94 years old, died early this morning in Arizona.

Before his retirement, he had been elected to 10 terms in the New York State Assembly, serving 20 years beginning in 1973.

Hawley, a World War II Veteran, was a 1939 graduate of Batavia High School and at the beginning of his political career owned a family farm in Batavia.

Since 2006, Hawley’s son Steven M. Hawley has taken up his mantle of local representation in the State Assembly.

August 25, 2016 - 11:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, football, sports, batavia bulldawgs, Batavia HS.


The Batavia Blue Devils hosted the Batavia Bulldawgs (Minis, ages 8-9) at Van Detta Stadium on Wednesday night for the annual scrimmage between the two teams.








August 25, 2016 - 11:20am


Jericka, lead singer for the local Christian band Salt of Earth, sings during the opening of Batavia's Great Tabernacle, a three-day event of music and worship at the Genesee County Fairgrounds.

The event continues tonight with free performances by Jim Drew and Jason Upton, and with speakers each night, tonight is Pastor Kevin Traux.









Last night's guest speaker was Tim Bennett, and Robin Mark performed.

August 25, 2016 - 10:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, agriculture, business, batavia.


Rep. Chris Collins hosted members of his Agriculture Advisory Committee -- local farmers and people involved in the local ag industry -- at Genesee Community College yesterday for a briefing on issues at the federal level affecting agriculture.

Collins noted that while he's not on the Ag Committee in Congress, he is on a committee with key oversight of a number of issues that affect agriculture.

"I am on Energy and Commerce, a more powerful committee, with oversight over the EPA and FDA," Collins said. "It’s certainly a good place to be."

Collins also addressed the issue of immigration, an important issue to farmers who, in recent years, have struggled to fill their farm labor force.

The NY-27th's representative is one of the few members of Congress to endorse Donald Trump for president and until this past week, Trump was calling for the deportation of 11 million immigrants who may have entered the country illegally. In the past week, Trump modified his position and is no longer promising to deport migrant workers living in the United States peacefully. 

Collins said the shift reflects Trump growing into the job of presidential candidate and one who is open to discussion.

"We will secure the borders and make sure the workforce that many of you have do have legal work papers and can figure out visas and other things that might ensure you’re not short of help," Collins said. "I think that’s a positive."



Mark Zittel, from Erie County, who brought samples of some of the produce he grows.


Collins staff member Jeff Freeland.




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